The ranch was purchased by J. West Martin, one of the original UC Regents and a two-term mayor of the City of Oakland, during the 1850s. It was originally named “Rancho Santa Rita.” Martin built numerous outbuildings and a huge draft horse barn around 1860, which is still in use on the property today. His stepson Thomas Carneal eventually took over the ranch, expanded the operation and built Highland school at the end of the driveway, which still stands today.
In 1884, Great-Great Grandfather Frederick Reinstein, came from Denmark and purchased a large portion of the property on Finley Road, adjacent to the legendary "Jackass Canyon", where during prohibition, local ranchers made bootleg whiskey in Northern California using the clear natural spring and the world's finest wheat. His son Henry Reinstein, bought Thomas Carneal's ranch and home, expanding the ranch to include its current location. The ranch, known as “home place,” has always been a beehive of activity. The ranch is now home to over 80 horses.