High Rock Ranch

About Us

The Roots of High Rock Began With Cornelius Daly

Our great-grandfather, Cornelius Daly, and his brother John, left

Charleville, a small town in County Cork, Ireland, sailed to America,

crossed the country and arrived in San Francisco in 1892.

They worked as clerks in a Dry Goods store in San Francisco, and in 1895,

headed north to Eureka, California to start Daly Bros. Department Store,

which was run by the family for the next 100 years.

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Shortly after founding Daly Bros., Cornelius went back to

Charleville and married Anne Murphy (“Mimi”) and shortly after that, his

brother John returned to Charleville to marry Anne’s sister, Eileen. So the

Daly brothers married the Murphy sisters and in 1905, they built homes next

to each other in Eureka. The families met every night after dinner to walk

together around the block.

In the early 1920s, the two families bought a

small resort, with a main house, a cook and staff house, cabins, a dance

hall, and a barn with stables. The property was 350 acres filled with

redwood trees and bordered by the Eel River. The resort was called

Englewood, where the Daly family children, grandchildren and great

grandchildren shared each summer for 80 years. The Daly Memorial Grove, on

the Avenue of the Giants, now marks the original entrance to our “Ranch,”

Englewood.

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The most joyous day of the year for our family was the day, each summer,

we packed the car, including the dog, and headed north on Highway 101

through Ukiah, Willits, Garberville and finally to the Redcrest off ramp and

through the gate into the“Ranch.” The saddest day of the year was always

two months later when we repacked the car, and dog, and hopped in the car

to go home.

Our family spent two months every summer with our grandparents, great

aunts and uncles, and cousins, lots of cousins. We all gathered at a place

we called Englewood, near the small town of Redcrest, on the Avenue of the

Giants in Humboldt County.

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On a typical day during the summer, we might get up early, walk down the

Fire Trail, and fish for trout in the Eel River. After breakfast we would

often play tennis with our grandfather, our mom, or our cousins. Usually, in

the afternoon, we would hop in the car and drive a mile or so down the

Avenue of the Giants, and hike down to a bend in the Eel River called High

Rock. There we would dive off the High Rock cliff, and swim to the island in

the middle of the Eel River, where we would lie in the sand of the two bowls

we called the Sugar and Salt bowls.

In the late afternoon, we would head back to Englewood to play with our

cousins in the pool while the adults played bridge. Our whole family learned

to swim at a very young age, because as soon as a cousin was able to swim

one complete lap, the parents took all our cousins to Minnie’s Market in

Redcrest and bought everyone a popsicle.

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Some days, if we were really lucky, in the afternoon, our Mom or Dad would

saddle up the horses, and we would ride out to the Old Orchard or on special

occasions we would ride over the mountain and visit with Old Man Curliss. A

few times we rode up the banks of the Eel River a couple of miles to

Laramie, the Murphy family ranch. In the evening our family, the Mathewsons

(our grandmother was Catherine Daly Mathewson), and the Charles Daly

family would meet at the Charles Daly’s barbecue for dinner, always

including corn on the cob, picked that day in Pepperwood. After dinner, we

would sit around the fire circle, as on occasion, other John and Jack Daly,

Biord and Falk cousins joined us, telling stories and singing. It was glorious,

sometimes four generations sitting together looking up at dark skies, brilliant

stars, and surrounded by Redwood trees.