Historic ranch on the market
The White Sulphur Springs Ranch has long stood proudly on the route between Truckee and Quincy, luring travelers with fresh squeezed lemonade, the opportunity to swim in the warm-springs-fed pool and intimate guestrooms should they decide to spend the night.Currently subject to a court-directed sale, realtors Ron Hemig and Paula Erle are in charge of auctioning the almost 40-acre property on Highway 89 near Clio.The ranch has seen a number of different uses during its 150-year history. It was first developed in 1852 when an early settler to the area by the name of Jamison built his prominent home near the southeast edge of Mohawk Valley.He located his house near the warm mineral springs on the property, the water from which currently fills a swimming pool on the property, keeping its temperature a constant 78 degrees year-round. The ranch provided produce and livestock to the rapidly expanding mining industry in the area, and Jamison eventually began operating the ranch house as a hotel as well.In 1867 Jamison sold the ranch and hotel to George McLear, who had come to California as a miner during the Gold Rush. During McLear’s time the three-story, 10-bedroom house served as both a hotel and a stagecoach stop on the route between Truckee and Quincy.The ranch has not been sold since then, with the property passing to McLear’s children upon his death. None of McLear’s children had children of their own, and when his last remaining daughter Isabel died, she willed the ranch to her friend Mava DeArmand.In 1974 DeArmand gave the ranch to Harry McKenzie, who restored the structures on the property and turned the former hotel into a bed and breakfast. The ranch was operated as a bed and breakfast by McKenzie and then by his stepson Don Miller until October of 2000.”We met a lot of very unusual and varied people,” Miller said about running the White Sulphur Springs Ranch Bed & Breakfast. Travelers from as far away as Europe could frequently be found at the ranch, enjoying the warm, spring-fed pool or examining the historic furnishings-many of which date from the 1800s.The furniture at the ranch may not be the only thing that’s been around since the early days of the property as, according to Miller, many guests have reported seeing ghosts during their stay.Miller hopes that whoever buys the ranch appreciates the historic value of the property.”I hope it’s kept like it was. I hope they don’t tear it down. It’s the oldest property still standing in Plumas County,” Miller said.Miller’s sister and co-owner of the ranch, Linda Vanella, also regretted having to sell the property. She remembers spending family vacations at the property, especially during the Christmas season, with all the kids in their family running around and playing outdoors.”It’s really sad to see it go, but I’m hoping that somebody will be able to purchase the property… It’ll take a lot of work, but hopefully it’ll be a beautiful lady again someday,” Vanella said.According to Vanella, the property could be used as a soccer camp, a restaurant, a bed and breakfast, or a family compound.Realtor Paula Erle has listed the property on Ebay as well as the normal channels for properties of its nature. The minimum bid for the ranch has been set at $850,000, but according to Erle, “Our job is to generate interest and get a bid much higher than the $850,000 minimum.”The ranch includes the 3-story Victorian main house, three guest cabins, a barn, workshop, storage areas and an expansive lawn. Sealed bids will be accepted until 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17.
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