Henry Dotta, a leading dairy farmer of the Sierra Valley, is the owner of a well improved farm of seven hundred and twenty-eight acres lying at the upper end of the valley, which he has managed for a number of years with marked success. He was born in Canton Ticino, near the St. Gotthard Tunnel, in Switzerland, on the 17th of July, 1883, and is one of the ten children of Valeno Dotta. Like many Swiss peasants, the father owned a sawmill, containing a gangsaw.
Henry Dotta, a leading dairy farmer of the Sierra valley, is the owner mained (sic) at home until 1902. Several of his older brothers, whom he never knew, had preceded him to America, settling in the Sierra Valley of California, and Raffaele Dotta, a cousin of his, now lives in this section of the state. Henry Dotta sailed from Havre, France, and landed at New York City in March, 1902. From there he crossed the continent by rail to Reno, Nevada, thence travelled with horses to the Sierra Valley. Soon afterward he went to the Clover Valley, where he obtained work on dairy farms, working out steadily until 1924, when he bought his present place, which is the old Ed Hamlin farm, settled in 1860, and later known as the Bonta ranch. It originally contained seven hundred and forty acres, but is now twelve acres less in size. During the construction of the Western Pacific Railroad he secured work with the surveying crew and was connected with the construction of the road from Clairville to Beckwith about two years. Mr. Dotta now operates his place as a stock and dairy ranch, on which he keeps fifty milch cows and one hundred and forty head of other stock, including registered Durham bulls. His main barn has a capacity of three hundred tons of hay, while the stock barn will hold one hundred and fifty tons. He has a well equipped creamery, in which he uses a Millatte cream separator, driven by power from a water wheel. This separator, which is of Belgian make, he regards as the best in the world. Mr. Dotta raises fifty calves a year and from twelve to fifteen hogs on the skim milk. He has a number of apple, pear and Siberian crab trees, all of which do well in this locality. The ranch is located at the head of the Sierra Valley and is on a creek which forms the headwaters of the Feather River that empties into the Sacramento River. The ranch is a place of wondrous beauty, nestling up to the pine covered mountains. Mr. Dotta has shown himself worthy of public esteem and has taken out his first citizenship papers. He is a hard worker and an excellent business man, and the success which has crowned his efforts is well merited.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 223-224. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.