Snippet: How we know the adobe bunkhouse was on the Padre Trail

Salvador Adobe
The former adobe bunkhouse of Salvador Vallejo shown circa 1887. (Photo from the collection of George Whiting Hendry)

Later photo shows Rancho de Napa bunkhouse in background

One of the main destinations of the Padre Trail from Sonoma for the ranchos was the adobe ranch headquarters for Rancho de Napa and Salvador Vallejo. Above is an image, taken circa 1887, from the front (east side), looking up at the adobe. Note the disrepair; by this date it had been about 50 years since it had been built and almost 40 years since California became a state. There are two piles of what look like bricks on each side of the center tree.

But how do we know where it was, or was even on the trail?

Thanks to Hendry Winery, which is located very near the adobe’s former site, we have another photograph, below. It shows the adobe (circled) in the background of a photo that was taken of the Buhman ranch (not the same Buhman ranch as was more recently on Buhman Road) and their Victorian home (still very much standing) sometime after the home’s construction in 1873 (possible well after, looking at the trees around the home). The Hendrys later purchased the property and the home is still occupied by them.

This image shows the bunkhouse adobe circled in the back right. In the background, you can see across the open valley and the hills in the hazy distance. (Photo courtesy Mike Hendry/Hendry Winery)

So from this image, we know the adobe sat along Redwood Creek west of the current intersections of Redwood and Dry Creek roads. Redwood Road passes directly beneath the lower edge of the photo. Upstream from the ranch is a low area of Redwood Creek that was likely the ford for Padre Trail travelers to cross over to the adobe side. The adobe collapsed in the 1906 earthquake and a newly rebuilt house visible from Dry Creek Road occupies the low bluff now.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Stephen Carr says:

    This is not the view from Buhman Ranch looking to Redwood/Dry Creek. There is actually a hill in the way off of Forrest Drive and West View.


    1. Robin Lewis says:

      Stephen — sorry for not being clear given there are at least four Buhman Ranches over time from Redwood Road to the hills to the one that used to be on Buhman Ranch Road. This is on Redwood Road but one owned by John J. Buhman from about 1880-1920. I cannot attach images to this reply so will send a bit of map from 1896 to your personal email to illustrate. Thanks, Robin


  2. Kelly sprott says:

    Love this stuff.I will look forward to more in future
    Thanks Kelly


    1. Robin Lewis says:

      Thank you for the note, I appreciate it. Robin


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s