Historical Site


Skinner Historical Site (Now Back in the Family)

Our ancestor, Scottish gold miner James Skinner, founded the first Skinner Winery in 1861 in Rescue, CA. Strategically placed on the Pony Express Trail, J. Skinner Native Wine and Brandy was one of the first commercial vineyards in the country and by 1883, one of the largest, with a stone wine cellar capable of storing 15,000 gallons of wine. The multi-story facility was located on Green Valley Road and was a very modern plant for the time, with a boiler room powered by a six-horse engine. The winery operated until the early years of the 20th Century.

The original cellar from the J. Skinner Winery still exists, where most recently, it was home to the Cameron Park Nursery. The owner allowed us to help restore the original stonework, revive a water feature, and incorporate historical photos and information into the site.

In early 2014, we were delighted to be able to purchase the property, with the goal of preserving it and protecting it from development. We’re proud to donate the use of the property to Pathways for Veterans, a group dedicated to healing spiritual and emotional war wounds. Pathways is helping veterans learn skills like organic and aquaponic farming, nutritional education, and web design, to mention a few.

Visit the site at Cameron Park Drive at Green Valley Road in Cameron Park, CA, Fri, Sat. and Sun.10-1 and/or 1-4pm (check www.PathwaysforVeterans.org. for specific times), and check out the nursery, art classes and gift shop with goods from local artists.
On June 8, 2013, the Native Sons of the Golden West dedicated the site with a historical marker plaque. This group, committed to saving buildings that are a part of early California history, honor one historical site a year. We’re grateful the Skinner cellar received this designation.

Read the Mountain Democrat article, June 24th, 2013