This ranch was originally three claims staked out in 1877 by Old Charley Henseley who lost them in a poker game in 1900 to Ben Pinkham for 1 dollar. Ben grew vegetables for the miners, but he realized that the miners needed a winter home closer to their mines, so he established Pinkham’s Boarding House, a seventeen-room hotel built on 160 acres. Ben’s wife, Elizabeth, established the Pinkham School District in 1903. The original school bell dated 1886 still rings you to lunch and dinner! From 1903 to 1909, “Coffee”, California, was the official post office of the area.
Gradually the hotel became popular with city folk. In 1928, when Viva and Raymond Tapie bought the hotel from Viva’s mother, Elizabeth Pinkham, they changed the name to Coffee Creek Chalet. They sold it in 1940. Two owners later, the Neubauers bought it, changing the name to Coffee Creek Ranch in 1946.