After yesterday's post, you now know that Grampa Grossi (Dominic's) was the youngest of 10 siblings. His father, Domenico and mother, Teresa bought their kids 7 dairy ranches scattered throughout the area. In the 1940's, George was given the ranch that we now call home. It was almost 600 acres with Novato Blvd. running through it. A few years later, he married his lovely bride, Mary.
George & Mary in the mid 50's
A few years of being on his own ranch, George was approached by the North Marin Water District asking to purchase 64 acres of the ranch so they could build Stafford Lake water shed. George agreed and in 1952 the deal was done. But it wasn't quite that easy because on the portion of land that was purchased by the water district, sat the family home, calf barn, the milking barn and the bunk house that housed the workers. George and Mary also had two of their three kids by this time as well, Carol and George Jr.
George Sr. & George Jr.
The house and milking barn were demolished, the cement foundation of the milking barn still sits, planted at the bottom of Stafford Lake. The calf barn and bunk house were moved across the street. The bunk house is still in working order to this day. George and Mary found a house for sale in downtown Novato, (on the corner of Grant Ave and Redwood Blvd.- for you locals-it's where Redwood Credit Union sits now) which they bought and had moved to the ranch. It is now my in-laws house.
Bunkhouse on wheels being moved across the street.
The water district also bought adjacent properties to the 64 acre Grossi parcel to complete their project. On one of the other parcels (where the new water plant sits now) sat Burdell School, a one room school house. It was also moved across the street to the Grossi ranch, along with the lavatories and a lean-to shelter that was used to park the horses that the kids road to school every day.
Here it sits under our oak tree (where we now store firewood).
In 1958 the school burned down due to an arson fire. The kids were driven into town to attend Our Lady of Loretto Catholic School after the fire.
Well, this concludes part 2 of Grossi Dairy History, I hope you're enjoying it. I have a couple more little tidbits to share with you....until tomorrow!