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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


James R. Rosie

For over twenty years J. R. Rosie has been identified with ranching interests in the Molino section, Sonoma county, beginning with a small acreage, but increasing his holdings from time to time as he was able, until today he has seventy acres, all under cultivation. By far the greater part of his land is in hops, in the cultivation of which he is an acknowledged authority, notwithstanding the fact that, for him, this is a latter-day industry. The raising of blackberries and apples of all the best known varieties represents another industry equally interesting and remunerative to the fortunate owner, who has been more than ordinarily successful from a financial standpoint.

A native of Scotland, Mr. Rosie was born near the city of Kirkwall, November 2, 1863, the son of parents who never left their native home, Scotland. The parents were farmers, and it was therefore quite natural that the son should imbibe some knowledge of agriculture from his surroundings, even though he had not been a participant in their duties. However, he had a taste for agriculture, and father and son worked side by side in maintaining the home farm until the latter was twenty years of age. It was then, in 1883, that he bade farewell to parents and friends and set sail for the new world, with California as his destination. The voyage was accomplished without accident or other unusual occurrence, and a few months after he left his home in Scotland Mr. Rosie settled in Alameda county, Cal. There he engaged in the dairy business, milking forty cows, and he continued in this business for six years, or as long as he remained in that county. On coming to Sonoma county in 1889 he bought a ranch of ten acres in Green valley, near Sebastopol, which he cleared of timber and underbrush, and subsequently enlarged it by the purchase of a similar amount of land, all of which he used as grazing and pasture land for a time. All of the twenty acres have since been placed under cultivation, nine acres being in blackberries, and the remainder, or eleven acres, in apples of the best varieties. That Mr. Rosie thoroughly understands the business in which he is engaged needs no emphasis beyond the statement of the yield of his crops. From nine acres of blackberries he gathers twenty-five tons of fruit annually, while his eleven acres of apples yield two thousand boxes. In addition to his orchard Mr. Rosie maintains a still greater enterprise in his hop yard, which covers fifty acres, from which he realizes sixteen hundred pounds of hops to the acre.

In 1888 Mr. Rosie returned to Scotland to claim his bride, in Miss Lizzie Liddle, and the wedding journey of the young people consisted of a journey to the United States, to the home which Mr. Rosie had prepared in Sonoma county. The house to which they then came sheltered the family for about twenty years, until Mr. Rosie erected the present fine residence on an elevation over-looking the entire valley. Fraternally Mr. Rosie is a Mason, having attained the Royal Arch degree, and he also belongs to the Independent Order of Foresters.

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