HISTORY OF GREEN VALLEY
Giovannini Ranch was founded by the Giovannini family circa 1890. However, they weren't the first to inhabit the land and enjoy its bounty. The abundance of the creek and multitude of mammals here likely drew great interest from Southern Pomo and, it is assumed that their predecessors, the Miwok, also frequented the valley as they also lived in the region and stewarded land.
Read on below for more information on the known history of the property. We are actively looking for historic photographs and additional information. If you see something that needs correction, or have additional information, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern pomo territory
While there wasn't a "significant" settlement here at Green Valley on record, we do find chards of obsidian and chert after the rains. If you close your eyes and listen to the waters of the creek flowing and smell the land, you can envision the bounty of the valley in the early 1800s and before. Birds, fish, mammals were in abundance to the tune of "The Ohlone Way."
A cultural survey conducted by Tom Origer & Associates in 2004 found three prehistoric archaeological sites and three historic-period buildings at Green Valley including the Farmhouse, the Barn and the Cric House, or the 'Swamp House' as it used to be called.
From the report, "Archaeological evidence indicates that human occupation of California began at least 12,000 years ago (Fredrickson 1984:506). At the time of European settlement, the study area was included in the territory controlled by the Southern Pomo (McLendon and Oswalth 1978, Bean and Theodoratus 1978). The Pomo were hunter-gatherers who lived in a rich environment with large carrying capacities, allowing for dense populations. They settled in large permanent villages about which were distributed seasonal camps and task-specific sites. Primary villages were inhabited throughout the year while other sites were visited seasonally to obtain particular resources. Sites were often established near freshwater sources and at ecotones where plant and animal life was diverse and abundant. There is historical documentation of Native American villages in the general area, most situated along the Russian River. None are within the study area. Examination of historical maps found evidence of historical activity within the study area during the 1860s, and at least one building is within the study area in 1877."
We are actively exploring ways to uncover the geographical significance of this valley for trade and passage beyond this survey and to honor the history of this land and all of the people that have walked in its meadows and forests.
Lewis and Caroline Giovannini settled the land that is now know as Green Valley Farm + Mill in the late 1890s, then known as Giovannini Ranch. Edwin Giovannini, locally famous and well-respected by all neighbors, grew up in the farmhouse built by his father alongside his brother Lewis and sister Arlene. As the family expanded, so too did the number of houses. Many Giovannini family members still live in Sonoma County. A plate that once hung in the Farmhouse kitchen, property of Caroline Giovannini, can still be found in the Farmhouse today and was graciously gifted to Green Valley by Annie and John Roberts.
The Windhams bought the then 329-acre property in 1996. Before the Windhams sold it, they subdivided the property into four parcels. Three of the parcels that comprise Green Valley Farm + Mill were sold to Michael Paine in 2006. Under his ownership, the property became known as Green Valley Village. This community effort was largely spearheaded by his son and wife at the time, along with numerous land residents that tended the land and called it home during Mr. Paine's 10-year tenure.
On July 6, 2016 Green Valley Partnership LLC purchased the property. The LLC was comprised of Jeff Mendelsohn, Josiah Raison Cain, Aubrie Maze & Scott Kelley, and Jeremy Fisher and Temra Costa (in the order pictured below).
Green Valley Partnership created Green Valley Farm + Mill as the land management entity for the property. Many of the original LLC owners live onsite.