Out in West Marin, generations of ranchers have been working vast stretches of land to produce food for tables around the San Francisco Bay. A good many of the ranch families originate in a small region of Switzerland, the Ticino, in a small valley called the Vallemaggia. I became fascinated with the history of these immigrants, their sacrifices and successes. From a tiny spot in Switzerland, they settled in pockets up and down the coast of California. They started as milkers, saving enough to lease, then buy land for their dairies. They had an enormous influence on the development of the dairy industry throughout California.
Here are a couple of their stories:
Carlo Martinoia – The Capitalist of Tomales