While driving on Hwy 1 an old Victorian farmhouse sitting in the Olema Valley area caught my eye. It was gated so I didn’t go onto the property just took photos from the road. It looked to be at once a grand place but now it sits lonely and all boarded up on some beautiful farm land in the area. Last night I did some online digging to see if I could find out anything about it…….and here is what I found out.
The story starts with a lady whose name was Sarah Seaver who was born in Vermont on October 6, 1826. Sarah married William Edgar Randall who was two years older than herself in 1849. Attracted by the gold rush they moved to California. To make a long story shorter the gold rush didn’t pan out for them so they bought a herd of dairy cows and settled in the Olema area on 1,400 acres in 1857 to run their dairy business. The Randall’s apparently had a long simmering boundary dispute with their neighbor Benjamin Miller. Miller wanted the property that they had and on June 7, 1860 he killed William Edgar Randall over that dispute. William Edgar Randall was buried on their ranch.
At the time of her husband’s death Sarah Randall had five young children, her husband’s debt, and a limited knowledge of the dairy business. With the help of her brother, family and neighbors, Mrs. Randall recovered from her tragedy and ran a very prosperous Diary farm. In 1880 or 1881 Mrs. Randall built a new 2-story Victorian house which became a showplace in the Olema valley. Sarah lived there on the ranch alone for a while until her children persuaded her to move into town to live with them. She died on January 24, 1907. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and was saved from being torn down. In the 1980’s a rare big-eared bat colony was discovered in the attic making it the habitat of an endangered species and as you can see it still stands today along Highway 1.