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Penobscot Ranch - A Living Legacy to the Heritage of California

Historic Site or District
Penobscot Ranch Barn and Pond – Linnea Marenco

Step back in time and take a walk through early California history when you visit Penobscot Ranch, a landmark in the Sierra Nevada foothills since the days of the California Gold Rush. The history of Penobscot parallels the cultural, economic, and architectural development of the American West, from the days of the Native American Indians, though the arrival of the first Mormon settlers and pioneers of the Gold Rush, and then the evolution of California’s agriculture.

Grinding stones created thousands of years ago can be found on the property from when American Indians lived here. When gold was discovered just a few miles away in 1848, Penobscot served as a way station, livery stable, and stage coach stop for weary travelers coming from all over the world to find gold. Visitors can still see the original Penobscot Public House built in 1850 where 49’ers stayed during the Gold Rush, the large pole barn built in the early 1920s, and even the original chicken coop - all with roots dating back throughout California’s rich history.

Although Penobscot Ranch holds such a distinguished place in California’s history, the 330 acre ranch still remains in active use as a working cattle ranch and private residence. To schedule a visit, call the owners at 650-346-6363. In addition to the historical buildings, this beautiful park-like setting with three large ponds is ideal for photography and artwork, both for individuals and groups, as well as educational opportunities to learn more about the regional history and agriculture.

The ranch is located in Cool on Highway 193. From Auburn or Placerville, take Highway 49 to the town of Cool. Turn onto Highway 193/Georgetown Road at the blinking red light in Cool. The ranch is 4 miles down on the right-hand side.

Pet Friendly Notes

No dogs, please. We have farm animals.

Time Period Represented

California Gold Rush (1850s) and Early California Agriculture (1920s)


By Appointment Only

Seasons Open

Spring and Summer



Nearby Places