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Friday, August 6, 2010

Michael Flanagan Trivia

You might think that with all that Michael did for the Stanly Ranch in Napa that he'd be recognized for this.  History sometimes writes itself and forgets people, especially when they disappear to another country.

In recent discussions with my Flanagan Family in Ireland, I found some interesting information out about Michael.  I guess I will call my trivia list the "Did you know that Michael Flanagan.....?"

Did you know that Michael Flanagan.....

1.  ....most likely did very well mining for gold in Australia and New Zealand?  It sounds like he did better than his brother, Patrick.

2.  ....brought with him farming skills from Australia in addition to his skills learned on the family dairy farm in Ireland?

3.  ....grew up on a dairy in Co. Louth, Ireland?

4.  ....is credited with the Eucalyptus Tree wind break along Stanly Lane at the Stanly Ranch in Napa?  He apparently brought saplings from Australia.  He'd probably be in big trouble these days for violationg agricultural laws in the U.S. for bringing in non-native trees.  I found a letter where Kate Flanagan cursed the "gum trees" that lined her property.  They provided too much shade for some of the vineyard.  Michael's intent, and it was brillant at the time, was to provide a wind break and frost protection for the vineyard and farm crops.  In my opinion, that's a "good show" for Michael.

5.  ....brought disease resistent grape vines from Australia and/or New Zealand for grafting to vines in Napa?  I guess he had a plan and he implemented it on his leased land from Governor Edward Stanly plus shared this with the Judge.  The Judge appears to have gotten the majority of the credit.  I suppose this could be debated but let's ask ourselves if the Judge was really a farmer.  He was an attorney and a retired judge.  I'm sure that he was a brillant man.  I think he recognized that in Michael.

I could probably write more but will save up for a future list when I have more definite information.

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