Our family has been in California's Livermore Valley since the late 1800s and farming and ranching on Mines Road in Livermore for over 100 years. Our paternal great grandfather Joseph Calhoun purchased a ranch on lower Mines Road in 1900 and moved to the ranch around 1925 after our great grandmother Maria Duarte Calhoun passed away. He raised sheep and cattle on his ranch. After Joseph passed away the ranch was divided among his children and eventually all of the pieces of that ranch were sold off except one. We still have one cousin living close to where the main house once stood.
Our maternal grandparents, Warner "Dick" and Ione Holm, purchased a ranch with Dick's brother Leslie on upper Mines Road in the 1930's. They primarily raised cattle on that ranch. Today we are co-owners of that ranch with several cousins.
In the 1950's our parents purchased property adjacent to our grandfather Dick Holm's ranch. Our parents were good stewards of their ranch and left most of the land untouched, with the exception of the addition of a house and a barn. When our parents passed away, we took over the ownership of the ranch.
The ranch is very diverse in the different terrain it offers. A spring fed creek runs year round through the very bottom of the ranch. A riparian canopy of sycamore, California bay laurel, white alder, and live oak trees keeps the creek area substantially cooler during the hot summer months. A few varieties of ferns can be found growing in the rocks along the creek during the spring.
Farther above the creek is dry, rocky chaparral terrain with sage, scrub oaks, and poison oak.
There is a steep climb to the next level of the ranch, where in a wet spring year we have a very large vernal pool. In dryer years we have two vernal pools in this area. A small seasonal creek runs by this area. Another steep climb takes us up to the flattest area of the ranch where large stately oaks are scattered throughout.
Throughout the ranch there is a wide variety of plants and wildlife that includes vulnerable species. We have been partnering with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Alameda County Resource Conservation District to protect these species. Check out our Wildlife on the Ranch and our Plant Life on the Ranch pages to read more about the plants and animals on the ranch.
Unlike our parents, we want to maximize the utilization of the land and resources, while conserving the plants and wildlife. Join us in our adventures as we do just that!