On This Spot in History

Noted botanist Willis L. Jepson found a flower "“the color of egg yolk"” in the vicinity of Russell’s Cream Factory, Point Reyes, in 1900. Where was that?

The Russell Creamery was located near the "town" of Point Reyes, really a post office and supply center on the F Ranch overlooking Drakes Estero. Creamery Bay, one of the fingers of the estero, was named for the presence of this commercial creamery that stood near its head. Landowner Charles Webb Howard reportedly constructed it sometime between 1870 and 1890. At that point in time, butter, and a little cheese, was manufactured on each dairy ranch and shipped collectively to San Francisco; the creamery may have been a business proposition that would bring Howard a higher portion of the profits emanating from his tenant dairies. The Russells took over the creamery some time in the 1890s and operated it until an unknown date after 1900. The census of that year lists one Algrion Russell. Later, the location was in use an artichoke farm operated by Italian tenant Allesondro Simondi (Richie’s grandfather). The house and other buildings were destroyed some time in the 1950s.

The exact location? A few steps out the Bull Point Trail, opposite North Beach, in Point Reyes National Seashore. (The plant was Hemizonia.)

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