The greatest kept secret of Fair Play, Seven-Up Guest Ranch, is a historically pivotal and private guest ranch that pre-dates the area's reputation for fine wine production. A working ranch for over 150 years with guest service since 1968, the ranch has been an important part of the local economy.
The history of the ranch begins in pre-historic times when it was inhabited by Native Americans. They were the first to understand the ranch's unique topography and resources provided a retreat. They set up camp nestled above one of our perennial streams. In the rolling hills above this stream, giant granite boulders with mortar holes, used as grinding mills, are evidence of the earliest lodging and breakfast service at the ranch. According to our analysis they were making acorn quiche crust in those holes!
Not too much is known about the ranch prior to 1937, when the ranch began being mentioned and documented in the community. The original house is marked only by an old stone fireplace used by the pioneers of the area. This fireplace dates back to circa 1850 and marks the oldest evidence of life on the ranch during modern history. It's assumed that the first owner of the ranch was farming cattle. Cattle have been raised on the ranch for most of its recorded history.
In 1938, "Dudes" from the "Seven-Up Dude Ranch" road down on horseback from the ranch to the fairgrounds in order to help fundraise for the first county fair. They put on demonstrations for fair attendees and help bolster fair revenue. Some of these "Dudes" were partners of the ranch and were referred to as the "Poole Brothers." This name also comes up in reference to the historic "Bullion Bend Hold-Up," where the "Quantrell Raiders" robbed a stage coach somewhere between Placerville and the ranch. When the law caught up with them, a gun fight ensued at the now extinct Somerset House. Thomas Poole was charged in connection with this crime and was hung in Placerville in September of 1865. Most of the silver bullion was recovered, but not all, and the remainder was never found. Is it possible that money robbed for "out-fitting the recruits enlisted in California for the Confederate Army" could have found its way to Seven-Up Guest Ranch through the ancestors of this outlaw?
The modern history of the ranch starts in 1967 when a man by the name of Virgil Langston, along with his wife and her sister and husband, purchased the ranch and converted it from a dude ranch to a guest dude ranch. Virgil had come from Los Angeles with a guide, or as he put it "a real outdoor type of person and ex-cowboy," to help him evaluate another property which he intended to open as a guest ranch. When they arrived north from L.A. they realized that the property was off the market but decided to look further since they had made the trip and had access to this guide. When they arrived at the ranch everyone knew they had found what they were looking for. The guide had helped bring them to it! Virgil and his partners immediately felt a connection to this piece of land and purchased it from Mrs. Sutter whose husband had built a number of the buildings on the property.
We can relate to Virgil, the Native Americans before him, and many of the guests that come to the property. There is truely something special about this piece of property. Our family felt this connection and immediately knew it was the family legacy property that our late great patriarch, John Rossetti, had been searching for. In March of 2011, The Rossetti Family purchased the ranch. We are proud to focus our efforts and resources into the continued restoration and preservation of this historic property. Join us at the ranch for a relaxing get-a-way and help us keep this unique farmstay a landmark in Fair Play for the next 150 years.
We are always researching the history of the ranch. Please Contact Us if you have historical information you'd like to share.