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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Louis Poulin

An illustration of the prosperity which has rewarded the efforts of our French-American citizens may be found in the life of Louis Poulin, who for over a quarter of a century has been identified with the interests of Sonoma county and has won recognition as an expert in the wine-making industry. Without energy and resolute determination he could not have risen to his present station in the community. Nature endowed him with the faculties necessary to the struggle for a livelihood in a new country. With the keen mind characteristic of his people he soon acquired a thorough knowledge of the English language, which he speaks with the same fluency as his native tongue.

Louis Poulin was born in Donzy, France, November 21, 1848, the son of parents who were also natives of that country. The father passed away in France in 1882, at the age of sixty-five years. After his death the mother came to the United States, and until her death, at the age of seventy-nine years, made her home with her son in Sonoma county, Cal. The raising of grapes and their manufacture into wine has long been one of the chief industries of France, and it was in this industry that the elder Mr. Poulin was engaged in his native country throughout his life. His son was very early in life made familiar with the industry, first through association, while he was too young to take any active part in its duties, and later through his participation as an active assistant in the maintenance of the business. The art of vinegar and wine making he had learned thoroughly under the training of his father, and this was one of his chief assets upon coming to the United States at the age of twenty-five years. Coming direct to Sonoma county, Cal, from the port at which he landed, he remained here for about three years, and in 1877 returned to the east. His stay there was short, however, for he soon afterward returned to the west, going direct to San Francisco. From there he again came to Sonoma county, and in 1883 purchased the ranch which has been his home ever since. This consists of seventeen acres of land well suited to the raising of grapes, the entire tract being given over to the growing and manufacture of the grape. Some idea of the extent of the business conducted by Mr. Poulin may be gathered from the statement that ten thousand gallons of wine were manufactured in his winery during the season of 1909. In addition to the grapes which he himself raises, he also buys of other growers in the vicinity to make this output of wine possible. In addition to the management of his vineyard and winery he also maintains a roadhouse in Santa Rosa, where the weary wayfarer may find rest and refreshment and a welcome that is genuine and spontaneous.

Mr. Poulinís marriage in 1890 united him with Miss Emily Hall, a native of England, as were also her parents, who are now deceased. No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Poulin. Politically Mr. Poulin is an adherent of no party, and possibly for that very reason is the better citizen, for in casting his vote he is guided by the qualifications of the candidate, and not by the name of the party that he represents. Sonoma county has few citizens more enthusiastic over her advantages than Mr. Poulin is. It is his belief that there is no place in the stat more favorable to the growing of the grape than this particular locality, and certain it is he has cause to hold this view, for his success has been phenomenal, both in the quantity and in the quality of the grape which he has produced and is still producing in his vineyard. The purchase price of his ranch twenty-seven years ago was $100 an acre, but today the ranch could not be bought for $12,000.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011