Tom Butt for Richmond City Council The Tom Butt E-Forum About Tom Butt Platform Endorsements of Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt Accomplishments Contribute to Tom Butt for Richmond City Council Contact Tom Butt Tom Butt Archives
  E-Mail Forum
  Back to the Land?
August 19, 2011

Long-time Richmond resident and electrical contractor Clarence Van Hook and his wife Jeffrie own and live on the absolutely stunning and historical 220-acre Ribbs Ranch in the Capay Valley not too far from Cache Creek Casino and next door to Full Belly Farm on Cache Creek. The barn on Ribbs ranch is believed to be the oldest in the Capay Valley.

Below, Full Belly Farm next to Ribbs Ranch


The ranch is in an area first settled by African Americans over 100 years ago, and the previous owner of Ribbs ranch was Henry Ribbs an African American motorcycle and car racer, whose son William “Willy” Theodore Ribbs, Jr., became famous in the NASCAR circuit. The Van Hooks purchased the ranch from the Ribbs family several years ago.

Two years ago, Landscape Architecture Students of U.C. Davis Professor Jeff Loux, Ph.D, completed a study for making the Ribbs Ranch into the “Capay Valley State Park.” Click here for a copy of the study.

With the state parks system not only short of money but in the process of closing 70 parks, the Capay Valley State Park is not likely to happen. Clarence is looking for organizations that might want to share portions of the ranch for uses including but not limited to:

  • Agriculture – it has rich loamy soil and access to irrigation water from Cache Creek and wells. It can support crops that will not grow in cooler Richmond.
  • Summer camp or retreat for urban kids
  • Equestrian center
  • Nature study


Clarence is not looking to sell the ranch but to share it with potential users who might make it productive, contribute to the upkeep and simply enjoy its unique history, location and resources. He might also consider some long term arrangement with a conservation organization.

Contact Clarence at 510/815-0241, 530/796-2286 or ccvhook@gvni.com

Below, Cache Creek running though Ribbs Ranch

Photo One

Below, Capay Valley’s oldest barn on Ribbs Ranch

Photo Two

Photo Three