The Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch “family members” have something big waiting for them. They will be celebrating the many generations of families that have vacationed there for more than 50 years, and their achievement of providing an opportunity for families to experience the lifestyle of a dying breed of mankind.
To kick-start the year-long 50th anniversary celebration, they’re inviting everyone to join them for their biggest opening day celebration ever Saturday, May 26. This is always a much-loved event within Plumas County as Greenhorn provides entertainment and activities for the entire family for an entire day of fun and it’s all absolutely free.
Open to everyone and anyone, including four-legged friends, these annual events have boasted monster trucks, hot air balloon rides, bounce houses, fire trucks, helicopters, community service organizations giving out free gifts, concerts, horse drawn wagon rides and so much more. Anyone looking for a fun-filled way to spend Memorial Day weekend is encouraged to head to Quincy for Greenhorn’s free community appreciation day and big 50th anniversary opening day celebration.
Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch has pioneer roots that trace back to Durham, England, where George Penman II was born in 1826, and his brother Robert in 1830. The Penman brothers sought adventure and opportunity in America, so in 1850 they sailed to New York.
During this time James P. Beckwourth, a freed slave and mountain man, had opened a route across the Sierra for gold rush emigrants. The Beckwourth Trail passed through Plumas County on its way to Bidwell’s Bar, now under Lake Oroville. The Penman brothers “pulled stake” and continued on to California — a hard wagon journey of seven months — finally arriving in Mohawk Valley, Plumas County, Calif.
Here the two families settled. The brothers found jobs in the local mines, and eventually established farms in Mohawk Valley. George Penman II and his wife Sarah raised nine children, seven girls and two boys. Coincidentally, Robert and Mary Ann also produced nine surviving children, also seven girls and two boys. In 1865 George Penman II filed for a homestead.
While Robert and George were raising their families, George Penman II bought a ranch two miles east of Spring Garden in 1868. This tract was originally known as the Misenheimer Station, and contained a small log cabin. George moved his family to this property, which became known as the Penman Ranch, and later the Gill Ranch, and eventually the present day Greenhorn Ranch. Here he raised vegetables and beef for his family. It also appears that he did a certain amount of mining on Jamison Creek. He also built a home and large barn from hand-hewed timber. Unfortunately these original structures did not survive a tragic fire in the 1940s.
The Gill family operated a goat farm until they sold the ranch to the White Pine Lumber Company in 1920. At about this time two frame houses and several cabins were built near Estray Creek. The Roberts and Cotter families lived in the two houses, while the cabins were for employees. A mill site was constructed in the lower meadow, but burned to the ground in 1925.
The ranch was repeatedly sold many times in the intervening years. One of the owners, L. Avilla, built a milk barn, also in the lower meadow. Then in 1947, L.J. Fallon and his wife, Ruby, purchased the ranch and began to modernize the property and buildings. Later in 1960s, an owner came up with the idea of turning Greenhorn into a guest ranch.
In the following years the ranch changed ownership several times, until Ralph and Trish Wilburn purchased it in 2000. Since then, Greenhorn has become a nationally and internationally recognized vacation spot, well known for its hospitality, down-home cooking and relaxing “away from it all” atmosphere.
Today the historic Beckwourth Trail still runs through the ranch property and one of the trail rides taken by guests arrives at the Beckwourth Trail Historical Monument that also sits on the ranch’s property.
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