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McBrides Purchase Ohio House from Earlier Settlers

In the 1850’s, settlers named Barnes and Terry built a cabin some six miles east of Etna, Calif.  Because they were from Ohio, they planted a buckeye tree for good luck.  The landmark became known as the "Ohio Ranch," which later became the "Ohio House."  Irish immigrant John McBride purchased the ranch in 1858 and built the larger ranch house in 1860.

McBride had been abandoned at 15 after crossing the plains with his father. He worked at a newspaper, but a cholera outbreak in 1853 chased him through the Trinity Mountains to settle at Sawyers Bar. He married Mary Ann Lowe, also of Irish descent, who had traveled by mule behind her mother over Scott Mountain to Callahan. After her mother died in 1861, and a flood washed away her infant sister from her bed, her father and older brother traveled to Montana, leaving her with two younger brothers, aged four and six. She was only 14.

The McBrides’ Ohio House became a popular stage stop on the California-Oregon Trail. 

Three of the McBrides’ seven children died within a 10-day period when scarlet fever broke out in 1876. Four lived to adulthood.

Source: Fowle, Melanie. "The McBride Ranch: Scott Valley—Siskiyou County.”  Some California Ranches: Their Stories And Their Brands. California Cattlewomen’s Publication, 2010. 41-43. Print.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.