The personal journals of James “Jim” Modini were donated to Sonoma State University Library by Audubon Canyon Ranch in 2013. The journals, spanning 70 years, offer a vivid picture of life on a northern California sheep and cattle ranch during much of the 20th century and into the 21st.
James Lawrence Modini Jr. (1917-2011) was born in Sonoma County, California and began working at the Pine Flat Road Ranch as a teenager. The land, which was in his family as far back as 1852, is near Healdsburg in the Mayacamas Mountain range.
Eventually, Jim Modini inherited the ranch and he and his wife, Shirley, lived there from World War II until his death. Modini started his personal journals at age 18 and continued to chronicle ranch life until age 86. Journal entries include weather, prices, wildlife sightings, events, sketches, and musings.
Special Collections is scanning the Modini Ranch Journals and they will become part of North Bay Digital Collections in 2014. A generous contribution by Audubon Canyon Ranch is funding the digital project. More information.
Read more about Jim and Shirley Modini and their land: