Gold Miner Turns to Ranching and Politics

Dec 16, 2013

Like so many others of his time, Robert Milton Martin sought gold when he headed West in 1849 from his home in Tennessee.  He worked the California gold fields before joining Siskiyou County’s gold rush.


 Martin mined near Hawkinsville and along the Salmon and Scott Rivers. He became sheriff at Scott Bar in 1851, settling the following year on a ranch near Table Rock in Little Shasta Valley, outside of Montague, Calif.  The property had continuously flowing artesian springs. Martin returned to Tennessee in 1855 to marry Ann Marchbanks.  They sailed West, crossing the Isthmus of Panama and landing in San Francisco.  They rode horses to Redding and over the Trinity Mountains to their cabin at the base of Table Rock.  Ann Martin is believed to have been the first white woman in Little Shasta.  Robert Milton Martin reached the rank of major general in the state militia in 1859.  He was elected in 1869 to the California State Legislature, where he served until his death at age 49, leaving behind a pregnant widow with six children. Martin’s son Brice purchased the ranch from the family estate, where today four generations continue to work the Table Rock Ranch.

     Source: Martin, Pat. “Martin Ranch: Table Rock Ranch, Siskiyou County, California.” Some California Ranches: Their Stories And Their Brands. California Cattlewomen’s Publication, 2010. 38-40. Print.