Title A Place Called Rockpile
Author : Catherine Bromage Park
Dimensions: 6w x 9h x 1 ¼ d
Publication date: 2016
About the Author:
Catherine Bromage Park earned her master’s degree in Public Health from U.C. Berkeley in 1966 and her first job in the field was with Sonoma County’s Department of Health Services. She became acquainted with the beauty of the region, its diversity and the charms of its rural lifestyle. More than thirty years later she returned to Sonoma County, working alongside her husband Rod to transform an old sheep ranch into a premium vineyard. In the process, she became captivated by the history of the property. After more than twenty years collecting stories, Cathy is delighted to share the legacy of Rockpile Ranch.
Pull Quote: “Who knows only his own generation remains always a child.” George Norlin, president of the University of Colorado, 1940. Rockpile Ranch is the setting for many a tall tale, but the whole story has never been told. The people and events that made Rockpile Ranch a local legend were nearly forgotten by the end of the 20th century. Thanks to the labor of over 150 people who generously gave their time and effort to this project, a slice of Sonoma County’s history is preserved.
Rockpile’s rich legacy was by chance uncovered as a husband and wife worked to create a new future for their property. Their account begins when they discover the earliest signs of Native American presence on the land and spans more than a century and a half between the pioneering homesteaders and the present day. Rod and Cathy Park were the first in the modern era to plant wine grapes and test Rockpile’s ability to produce high quality fruit. Establishing a vineyard in the remote wilderness of northern Sonoma County’s Coastal Range was an ambitious project and only the beginning of their splendid journey. The more they learned about the characters who preceded them, and the events that shaped their time on the land, the more dedicated they became to preserving the heritage of Rockpile Ranch.
A Place Called Rockpile offers a unique collection of firsthand accounts and careful research to resurrect the compelling history of the men and women who gambled on this piece of rural land. From Pomo summer camps to the sheep ranching era, through the days of timber harvesting to the introduction of wine grapes, at is its core, this is a story of the intimate relationship between the place and its people, generation after generation.