We were surprised to discover recently that buried in the Kelseyville pioneer cemetery within sight of the Old Stake 1901 Vineyard, is Charles A. Piner, who is the great-great-great-grandfather of Adam Forni, a co-owner of Dancing Crow Vineyards.
Charles and his wife Sarah, pictured above, set out from Missouri in the spring of 1850 with their infant son, George. Six months later they arrived in what is now Lake County, joining the region’s earliest settlers of european origin. He bought his 160-acre ranch near the town of Kelseyville with a yoke of oxen and $400 in cash. The family farmed, raised stock, started a general store, and planted some of the first pear orchards near Kelseyville. Pears were a good choice−Lake County later became known as the “Pear Capital of the World.” Charles died in 1904 aged 77.