My first three novellas in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series are set in the gold mining town of Lundy. The fourth, Haunted by Love, takes place in Bridgeport and along Robinson Creek. But, many of the scenes plus the big event in the fifth book, Bridgeport Holiday Brides, takes place at the Caldwell Ranch in Big Meadows area by Bridgeport.
I did not need to search long and hard before I found a ranch to serve as my model for the Caldwell Ranch. Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte Hunewill, along with being a successful owner of two sawmills along Buckeye Creek supplying wood for both Bodie and Bridgeport starting in the 1860’s, used the site of the current Hunewill Ranch to graze the oxen he worked in his logging operation. For more information on the Hunewill sawmills, please CLICK HERE.
Hunewill soon found himself raising cattle and helping to supply beef to the miners in Bodie, Aurora and Bridgeport. He and his wife, Esther, built a beautiful ranch house in 1880 and where they eventually switched their focus to running a successful cattle ranch. They also raised horses and sheep. There they lived with their son Frank who married Alice in 1883.
The Hunewill Ranch home was beautiful example of Victorian-era architecture. Built with the Sawtooths of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west, the setting is spectacular.
Economic conditions in the early 1900’s prompted the family to turn the Hunewill Ranch into a guest ranch. This guest ranch is still in operation today and is run by descendants of Napoleon and Esther Hunewill, despite efforts to pressure landowners to subdivide the land for development. For more photographs of the countryside on and around the Hunewill Ranch, please CLICK HERE.
Is it any wonder I chose this site for the Caldwell Ranch in Bridgeport Holiday Brides? Here is the book description:
With the arrival of Beth Dodd’s sister, Hazel, in California, Beth and her fiancé, Val Caldwell, are now able to make wedding plans. Thanksgiving seems to be a good time to tie the knot and bring the Caldwell family together, as well, but when Val’s older half-brother, Edwin, and his family show up for the wedding, things fall apart. Edwin’s advice to Val to wrest control of Beth’s holdings and absorb them into the Caldwell Ranch leads to bad blood and fisticuffs between the brothers. Will Beth call the wedding off to protect what she’s worked so hard to gain?
As Beth’s younger sister, Hazel, realizes she’s falling in love with Val’s younger brother, Luther, she learns the feeling is mutual. Luther has bought a ring and plans to announce their engagement at Thanksgiving, as well. But Beth has a stormy relationship with her future brother-in-law, and believes her sister is too young to marry. Headstrong and determined to control their own destinies, will happiness also be possible for these BRIDGEPORT HOLIDAY BRIDES?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Her novelette, A Christmas Promise, and the five novellas in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series, Big Meadows Valentine, A Resurrected Heart, Her Independent Spirit, Haunted by Love and Bridgeport Holiday Brides were published by Prairie Rose Publications.