The Muelrath ranch was purchased in 1938 from Ed Cheney by Peter and Alice Muelrath and has remained in the Muelrath family ever since.
Peter and Alice operated a dairy on the ranch as well as growing hay and potatoes. In 1942 Peter built a new grade A dairy barn that only one year later was consumed by fire caused by spontaneous combustion from hay that was stored too green in the barn, the concrete remains of that barn are still visible. Peter then built another grade A milk barn that still remains standing on the farm today. In 1946 Peter and Alice bought another dairy farm in Santa Rosa that is currently owned by their son Robert.
The Bodega Bay property remained in the ownership of the Muelrath Family but was leased to other dairy farmers until about 1961 when it was again operated by the Muelrath family as a heifer ranch. In 1975 Peter and Alice’s son Robert purchased the dairy and he continued to operate both ranches leasing them from his parents. Peter died in 1983 and Alice in 2001 leaving the Bodega ranch to Robert and his sister Mary Oliver. Robert sold the dairy cows in 1991 but continued to operate both ranches raising dairy heifers eventually converting the Bodega Bay ranch to beef cattle in which it remains today.
Both Robert and Mary are now in their seventies, Mary with both a son and daughter and Robert with two sons and two daughters and ten grandchildren. Although a difficult decision they have decided it’s time to allow another family to share in the heritage that has been so revered by the Muelrath Family.
The Muelrath Family has a long history in the area as Alice (Albini) Muelrath was born and raised on the John Albini ranch currently owned by Steve Brumm. Alice’s grandparents (Italian immigrants) also owned the Borttarini ranch located at the end of Estero Lane that was recently purchased by the Wildlands Conservancy in 2015. Alice and her siblings attended Potter School in Bodega riding to and from school on a horse and buggy. Peter’s family emigrated from Hungary and eventually settled in the Hessel area near Sebastopol. Peter worked many various jobs and eventually went to work for Ed Cheney on the ranch where he met Alice, and the rest is history.
Ed Cheney and his mother are buried on the ranch in a cemetery plot that is still preserved to this day by Robert Muelrath.