Our History

Tilly & Charles Carpenter in 1934
The last photo of Tilly in her beloved flower gardens.
Tilly and Charles Carpenter ShadowRidge Ranch
ShadowRidge Ranch History

The Davies Family Inn at ShadowRidge Ranch History

The Davies Family Inn is at Shadowridge Ranch, the original homestead of the Raffetto family who owned a little store down the road in Newtown or Sunny Italy, as the Italians liked to call it. There they sold produce and goods, that they raised and made on the ranch, to the gold miners.

The homestead was alive with miners, weary travelers and Italian friends reminiscing about the "old country" or telling of their latest gold strike. There were Bocci Ball courts, story telling, wine making, an occasional Indian scare and of course the bandits and highwaymen like the notorious Black Bart . Yet the grandest sight of all was the Wells Fargo concord Stage Coach, flying by with the fury of thundering hooves, carrying the gold to the Sacramento banks!

In 1919, Charles and Matilda (Tilly) Carpenter, purchased the ranch for a staggering $2,000 which took them years to pay off! Some of the buildings were destroyed by fire, so Charles began rebuilding them. Using timber from the ranch, each log was felled by hand, skidded with a team of horses, hewn by hand, winched into position and chinked with local clay. Charles then travelled by horse and wagon to San Francisco where he salvaged doors, windows and flooring from the 1915 Panama Exposition World's Fair. Most are still intact and can be seen today in the cabins.

Since there was little money for decorating, Tilly set about planting her famous flower gardens. By the mid 1920's her garden had become so large and colorful, people from all over the county would travel the old dusty road just to glimpse the magnificent waves of colors, shapes, and fragrances. Today the gardens have been carefully restored and enlarged for your pleasure and enjoyment.

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