The original history of the RD Ranch (previously known as Mount Echo Ranch) as told by Jeanne Johnson, great granddaughter of James and Elizabeth Walker. I have had the great pleasure of becoming friends with Jeanne. We don't get together near often enough but we have lots to talk about when we do.
Our great-grandparents (James "John" Cox Walker and Elizabeth Jane Taylor Walker) moved from Sacramento to Amador County in the late 1860's. They had experienced the "great flood" in Sacramento.
Presumably they did farming on a small scale and raised horses (possibly Morgan stock).
The original ranch house stood on the knoll above the reservoir. The old house was badly vandalized after our grandfather, "C. L." moved into Ione. During early Depression days the house was stold - part by part - windows, doors, and any furniture still remaining.
In regards to the bricks, we recall there were some stacked about south of the house. We've never excavated there so any number of them may be buried beneath the surface - but we have no recollection of any structure, wall, etc. in this particular location.
Our father always said the round paved area below the face of the reservoir was an "arrastre" (Span. arrastra - arrastrar). It was a mill of sorts for grinding ore. We think there may have been some quartz (gold veined) ore on the ranch, as well as copper ore. (Probably why the family moved to the ranch in the early days.) They would crush the ore to determine if they really had "struck it rich". They had not!
The ranch was originally called Mount Echo Ranch. Our father, Glenn C.Walker was born there but left when he was 13 years old. His mother had died and he went to live in Ione with his Aunt. You have asked about a spring (seep). Our father said it was up that small ravine off Paine Road (above a small parking area by the big oak). We never went up the ravine because of the dense poison oak - but there usually was green vegetation in the "depression" and in wet years one could see a definite small trickle.
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