This Week in California History (an ever-useful site, maintained by Jim Silverman) tells me that December 20th, 1844, is the date on which
Rancho Rio de los Molinos, a 22,172-acre Mexican land grant in present day Tehama County was deeded. It extended along the east side of the Sacramento River from Dye Creek to Toomes Creek, including present day Los Molinos.
So here is a little more about Rancho Rio de los Molinos:
Albert G. Toomes, a native of Missouri, came into California with the Rowland-Workman party by way of the southern route. They arrived in California on November 10, 1841, just a few days after the Bidwell-Bartleson Party arrived at Marsh’s Ranch near Mt. Diablo.
Toomes worked in Monterey as a carpenter with Robert H. Thomes, who had come with the Bidwell group. Together they built a house for Manuel Jimeno Casarin, secretary of state and sometimes acting governor under Governors Alvarado and Micheltorena, This turned out to be to their advantage, for as Toomes said:
“The house we built at Monterey for Governor Jimeno in 1845 was one of the best jobs we ever did in our lives, for the old gentleman not only paid us well, but got us our farms without any of the trouble others had.”
On December 20th, 1844, five square leagues (22,177 acres) were granted to Albert G. Toomes by Manuel Micheltorena, between Dye Creek and Toomes Creek with Mill Creek in about the center, on the east side of the Sacramento River. Robert H. Thomes received a matching land grant, Rancho Saucos, on the west side of the river.
John Bidwell had named Mill Creek (in Spanish, Rio de los Molinos) because it looked like a good stream for a mill. He also drew the diseño for the rancho.
You can see on the diseño that Job Dye’s ranch (Rancho de Dye) is to the north, and Peter Lassen’s ranch is to the south.
yesterday I just found the Toomes mill site.
His home site is next on the list.
I look forward to hearing more.