Henrietta Grieb Stow

Henrietta Grieb Stow, the second child of Konrad and Katharina Grieb, was born in Germany and migrated to California with her parents Konrad and Katharina Grieb. She was actually part of the five children left behind while their parents traveled to America and settled on the California coast. Once Konrad got a place to live and a job settled he left Katharina with her newborn son and returned to Germany to bring the rest of the family to California.

Henrietta Grieb Stow and her husband owned and worked a ranch on Suey Creek located off Highway 166. When Henrietta died she was cremated and her ashes were placed in a square urn and buried near Suey Creek.   Sometime later, there was a flash flood and the urn was unearthed and washed downstream.  Someone,  we don’t know who, located Henrietta’s granddaughter Elizabeth Stow Groose and delivered the urn to her.  After Elizabeth’s death, her daughter Judith kept the urn.  This last Summer July 2015, the urn was delivered by Judith to the Grieb Farmhouse  for safekeeping. The urn is engraved with the birth year of 1866 (incorrect should be 1863 – The same time as the Civil War in America) and the death year as 1925 (as yet, have not been able to confirm death year.)

Grieb Boys

The Grieb Boys George, Fred, Henry

The Grieb Boys
George, Fred, Henry circa late 1880’s

Grieb Family History – The Start of the American Tree

Konrad and Katharina Grieb had a total of 12 children yet only 9 survived infancy. Five were born in Germany, three died in infancy, and the rest were born in America including two of the three living sons, George and Fred. Henry was born in Germany and was the youngest of the group that came to America after Konrad and Katharina settled in Edna Valley on the Central Coast of California in 1873.

George and Fred stayed in the Arroyo Grande Valley area and purchased part of the existing Grieb Ranch back in 1916 and 1917 for the sum of Ten Dollars, in Gold Coin of the United States of America. The sign over the entrance to Grieb Ranch reads established 1878 as that is the year Fred, who is the Grieb Ranch patriarch was born. Today six generations of Grieb Boys work, live or play at Grieb Ranch.

Thankful For A Rich Family Heritage

Walnuts, bagged and ready to ship.

Walnuts, bagged and ready to ship.

“If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.” Leviticus 26:3-5

Grandpa and Grandma Grieb had orchards; beautiful apricot and walnut orchards. Every summer of my childhood their barn (processing shed) rang with the laughter and chatter of teenage girls who were cutting apricots and placing them on drying trays, while listening to the popular music on the radio. Fall brought the sound of the huge walnut dryers and the musty-burlap smell of gunnysacks which were used to store the walnuts. One November day stands out in my mind because the radio and the dryers were silent. We were gathering with family at the barn to celebrate Thanksgiving. Upon entering the barn, we were amazed because it had been transformed into a banquet hall. The tables were lined up end-to-end and groaned under the weight of the Thanksgiving feast. The barn was filled with family from 9 Grieb children, 26 grandchildren and of course spouses and great grandchildren. We all came to celebrate family and to give thanks for God’s provision.

Treasured memories from the Walnut and Apricot processing shed.

Treasured memories from the Walnut and Apricot processing shed.

I don’t remember us ever being all together before or after that Thanksgiving meal, but I’m sure that Thanksgiving we came very close to all being together.

Thank you Lord for my many, many blessings. Thank you for a very rich heritage, a large loving family and many treasured memories. – Margie Grieb Runels

“Happy Thanksgiving To You and Yours From Grieb Ranch”

Grieb Ranch Way

Grieb Ranch Way


The New Sign at Grieb Ranch Way.

The New Sign at Grieb Ranch Way.

There is a brand-new road sign in rural Arroyo Grande where Trout Farm Road used to be. That county maintained road is now called Grieb Ranch Way as that road is right across Lopez Drive from the entrance to Grieb Ranch.

How did this come about? Well Connie had to submit the proposal and then had to attend the Planning Department meeting where the name change was discussed. All went well and the name change was approved a few months back, August of 2014.

Recently the new sign was put into place. The Grieb Family enjoys seeing the new name on the sign and are happy to see the heritage of ranching preserved in a more visible way.

The biggest change will be for the soccer teams, and rugby teams, and flag football teams who come to use the beautiful Tally Farm Fields off the newly-named Grieb Ranch way. All the maps and directions will have to be changed to reflect the new road name. No permanent structures are accessed off Grieb Ranch way.

Inter Office Memo_Tim Cate_Public Works



A Shoot-out Moves the School, a Lynching and The Pacific Coast Railway in Arroyo Grande, CA. – Grieb Ranch History

Santa Manuela School House - a one-room school house built in 1901 in upper Arroyo Grande. Picture from http://www.arroyograndevillage.org/museums.shtml

Santa Manuela School House – a one-room school house built in 1901 located in upper Arroyo Grande. – now fully-restored and on display in the Village of Arroyo Grande.  Picture from http://www.arroyograndevillage.org/museums.shtml]

School Days

The boys would exit the school house through the windows, or so the story goes, of the very first school house built between San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria in 1867 by Francisco Branch, one of the first landowner in the Arroyo Grande, CA area.

Fred Grieb, father of Carl Grieb attended this school which was the first for the town site of Arroyo Grande. A three acre school site was deeded into the plan for the town of Arroyo Grande when the original 40,000 acres of the Santa Manuela-Arroyo Rancho land grant was divided.

Years later this school site was to be called, “un-safe” after a shoot-out occurred at a stable near the school where the stagecoaches changed horses. The school was then moved to an area which is now the corner of Traffic Way and Fair Oaks Avenue where the Ford dealership is today.

Carl Grieb started 1st grade at this school (where the Ford dealership is) until another elementary school was built off Orchard Street. Orchard school is now the 900 wing of Arroyo Grande High School. He attended Orchard school through 8th grade then went to the first High School, Crown Hill (built in 1906) which is now the current site of Paulding Middle school.

Paulding Middle School today - formerly Crown Hill High School where both Carl and Connie attended.

Paulding Middle School today – formerly Crown Hill High School where both Carl and Connie attended.

Connie went to Orchard for Jr. High for 6-8th grades then attended Crown Hill (now Paulding) for 9th grade. She returned as a teacher at Paulding Middle School and taught many students there from 1983 to 2010.

A Lynching

The railway bridge where two bodies hung from the trellis. Photo from South County Historical Society.

The railway bridge where two bodies hung from the trellis. Photo from South County Historical Society.

It was April Fool’s Day in 1886 and the school-kids were the first to report the event after a group of them ditched school and saw a site they would never forget . . . two bodies hanging from the Pacific Coast Railway bridge that crossed the Arroyo Grande Creek. Fred Grieb was one of these school kids.

The Hoosgow Jail in Arroyo Grande, CA.

The Hoosgow Jail in Arroyo Grande, CA.

In the wee hours of the morning a crowd of vigilantes broke into the Arroyo Grande jail where three people, a father and son plus a nephew, were being held for shooting and killing their neighbor due to a property squabble. The vigilantes hung the victims from the train trellis that crossed the Arroyo Grande creek just south of the old E.C. Loomis feed store off East Branch road in Arroyo Grande. The father and son were the two hanging; the nephew was seen running off with the rope still around his neck!

A marker describing the lynching can be found outside of the old E.C. Loomis Feed Store on East Branch Street in Arroyo Grande.

A marker describing the lynching can be found outside of the old E.C. Loomis Feed Store on East Branch Street in Arroyo Grande.

Pacific Coast Railway

Bck to school, a lynching and trains 2014-08-29 002

The Pacific Coast Narrow-Gauge Railway came through Arroyo Grande through this route.

The sound of the train coming always broke the peaceful quiet of Arroyo Grande as it made its way from Santa Maria to San Luis Obispo, stopping in Arroyo Grande near the E.C. Loomis feed store. The train really opened up the movement of goods up and down the coast increasing the market for animal feed, produce, animal hides and dry goods.

The train came from Santa Maria through Arroyo Grande running parallel to E. Cherry Lane then turning North onto what is now Pacific Coast Railway road continuing on over the Arroyo Grande Creek, across to the E.C. Loomis Feed store and then ran East down behind the neighborhood around Paulding Middle School and North up Corbett Canyon to San Luis Obispo. The train bridge was moved sometime ago due to flooding.

With the arrival of the railroad in October 1881 came the idea of travel for the people of Arroyo Grande. The narrow-gage train made it possible to ride in comfort up to San Luis Obispo. One of the train cars even had red-velvet covered seats and wrought-iron adornments. The people of the town lived by the time-table of the little train until the development of the highway brought its use to a close in 1942.

Pacific Coast Railway Marker found outside the old E.C. Loomis Feed Store on East Branch Street.

Pacific Coast Railway Marker found outside the old E.C. Loomis Feed Store on East Branch Street.


Unless otherwise noted, all pictures taken by Sharon Jantzen

Beginning a Life Anew in the New World 1873: The Life of Konrad and Katharina


Konrad and Katharina Grieb originally migrated from Germany to Marysville, California in 1873. They traveled to the New World by ship just the two of them, leaving their 5 children behind in the care of Konrad’s sister and brother in Gumbach, Germany. 1873 was less than 100 years from the founding of America and only 23 years from California being admitted as a State in 1850. The voyage took them around the horn and back up the west coast of South America and then North America.

Konrad and Katharina were not settled in Marysville as the climate was unsatisfactory, the water supply was poor because the rivers were not controlled by dams and levees, and the land was not suitable for farming so Konrad began to investigate other California sites. Konrad corresponded with E.W. Steele a noted Dairyman living in the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo, CA. Konrad inquired about the farming interests in San Luis Obispo County. Konrad and Katharina moved to Edna Valley and Konrad worked for Mr. Steele on his dairy while investigating farming interests for himself. Baby George was born during their stay with Mr. Steele.


Pacific Coast Steamship Company Schedule 1877

steamship late 1800

Pacific Coast Steamship

To get from Marysville to Edna Valley they traveled by steamboat that was part of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company which served ports up and down the west coast. The steamship left San Francisco and landed at Cove Landing which is now known as Pirates Cove.  All passengers and freight traversed down rope ladders to small boats called lighters to get to shore, then cranes were used to unload the cargo up the steep banks. Harford Wharf was built in 1873 by John Harford. The wharf was in Avila Beach and he used horses to off-load and deliver cargo to San Luis Obispo and beyond. In the 1880’s he connected the wharf with a narrow gauge railway to move cargo and passengers.

Once settled on the Steele ranch Konrad left his wife and newborn son to return to Germany to bring back the rest of his family. His spinster sister Helga came to the New World on this trip to take care of the children. They all made it safely, although enduring a long and harrowing journey. The Grieb family lived on the Steele ranch for 2-3 years.