Bowerman Barn and Ranch Restoration Project
By Emily Miranda
Back to the Barn
By Emily Miranda
JOHN AND JACOB BOWERMAN were among many in the late 1800s lured westward by the California Gold Rush. Jacob left Ohio in 1856 bound for San Francisco. He later wrote home, convincing his brother John to join him in California. Unlike many who came and left during California’s Gold Rush, the Bowerman brothers stayed, deciding to pursue a career in ranching rather than grander dreams of gold. Together they raised $1,800 and purchased 160 acres of ranchland in 1861.
The plot of land lies near the Shasta-Trinity National Forest recreation area in current day Covington Mill. With hard work and dedication, the Bowerman brothers built their ranch and barn, establishing a successful meat and dairy business that strongly contributed to the evolution of Trinity County.
The Bowerman Barn was built in 1879 and was acquired by the U.S. Forest Service in 1974; it is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Bowerman Barn and Ranch is a volunteer-run association, better known as the Bowerman Gang, dedicated to protecting the site’s rich history as well as publicizing the ranch as a historical attraction. The Trinity Lake Revitalization Alliance is the gang’s official sponsor and partner with the Forest Service.
Located off Highway 3 in Trinity County, the Bowerman Barn draws the attention of many history enthusiasts for being an exemplary model of late 19th century workmanship. This has prompted the group to undertake the barn’s restoration and visitation. It has also inspired the Bowerman Gang to manage and showcase the site to visitors as though they were stepping into the 1800s, keeping the site as authentic to the time period as possible.
The Trinity County Historical Society has provided much support in these efforts through the provision of insight, copies of historical photographs and documentations that relate to the Bowerman family and property. To donate to Bowerman Barn and Ranch restoration projects, visit