top of page
IMG_0492.jpg

FOWLER RANCH
Who are these farmers? 

Continuing the legacy one generation at a time...

     Our family traveled around the horn from Massachusetts to San Francisco.  They settled there for many years and started the first dairy in San Francisco - can you find the items in the brewery that pay homage to this part of our past?  From here, they settled near Lincoln, moved to a few location in the Sierra Nevada and Lassen areas and then back to Lincoln.  The land that the Farm Brewery and our other agricultural operations sit on was a wedding gift to Bell Fagg in 1885 and her home still stands on the ranch.  

     Newcastle and the surrounding areas were known as the “Fruit Basket of the United States” with the plentiful orchards, cold storage and railroads in Newcastle fruit was easily shipped to the East Coast.  

     Bell’s son, Eugene Fowler, managed the fruit packing sheds of Newcastle and this is where he met his wife Myrtle.  They lived in the middle house of the three across from the Newcastle packing sheds - opposite of the current Cheese Shop in Newcastle. 

     The local Newcastle Judge, saw a need for more fruit trees to keep up with the demand of the region.  Knowing Bell Fagg knew how to graft grape trees and Eugene had the family property, they were asked to produce 20,000 pear trees in 1912 and this started Fowler Nurseries.  Bell at the time was nearly blind but was able to help her son through the process.  Eugene would ride his Indian Motorcycle back and forth along Hwy 193 to check on the trees while still managing the fruit sheds.  

     During the time of the Japanese Interment Camps, Eugene took over some of the local Japanese-owned ranches.  He moved their possessions to safe locations, rented out the homes and farmed the land.  When the Japanese returned he gave them their possessions, lands, and profits.  Local farmer, Howard Nakae, of Twin Peaks Orchards wrote us a letter many years later stating that many locals would cross the road to steer-clear of the returning Japanese where Eugene would cross the road to welcome them back with a handshake.  The Japanese became much of the workforce for the nursery and helped build the company to what it is today.  Over 110 years of growing fruit and nut trees for commercial farmers across the United States has been a great joy for several generations.  Eugene Fowler's son, Robert “Bob” Fowler, and his wife, Sue-Dee Fowler joined the company.  They worked to expand the commodities offered to customers while continuing the goal of variety and rootstock improvement.  The next generation was Richard “Dick” Fowler and his wife Terry Fowler and Nancy Fowler-Johnson and her husband Everett Johnson - they grew the company to one million trees per year and expanded the worldwide search for improved genetics for stronger and tastier products. 

     In 2008, the fourth generation joined the company, Denise Moore (Eugene's great-granddaughter)and then in 2016 her brother, Phillip Johnson, returned from the golf industry.  Denise wears every hat imaginable, other than production - the is Phillip's arena. 

     Over the past couple of decades, the idea of pivoting and changing the offerings available on the ranch have been discussed.  Denise and her husband, Mason Moore, spearheaded the agri-tourism growth.  First, with a small pumpkin patch in the pasture at their home for three years before transitioning it to being open to the public in 2017.  Then, with the suggestion from Grandma (aka Sue-Dee Fowler) to sell fruit "at the corner" (where Fowler Ranch Farm Brewery is currently located), Denise, in true Denise fashion, decided to go big and start a Certified Farmers' Market, the only one on a farm in Northern California. While the market was being established, a new building was being built to help with storage and to assist with some of our nursery operations. However, as time grew on and with the success of the patch and market, the decision was made to transform the building into a Farm Brewery, the next stage of bringing local agriculture to our neighbors. With this new venture, Phillip's wife, Dana Johnson, joined in on the fun.  

     Our overarching goal in these new endeavors is to bring the community and agriculture together!  We like to call it "Farmony"!  We are "The Gateway to Placer County Agriculture" and we look forward to sharing our love of ag and community with you! 

bottom of page