How it all began

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“Find a need and fill it…

Has been a guiding principle for both Loretta, my wife of 65 years, and myself. When I retired from my career as a teacher and school administrator and she retired from her career as a nurse, rather than have me drive her to work and play golf until it was time to bring her home, we looked around to see what needs we could find. Loretta quickly saw a need for overnight housing since Julian was rapidly becoming a center for tourism. Bed-and-Breakfast was such a new concept in California that our friends asked if we were going to serve breakfast in bed! Nobody knew much about how to proceed so we just opened our doors and started. To say that it was an instant success would be an understatement. There was a very real need, and both of us, having spent most of our lives in professions that served people, were ideally suited to it.

Shadow Mountain Ranch has actually filled a number of needs. Loretta was beginning to show symptoms of empty nest syndrome. It filled that need. I was bored; sitting and looking out the windows at the dull, gray, drizzly winter. It filled that need. Many of our guests needed a place where they could relax, recuperate and recharge their batteries without the noise and hubbub of the city after their hectic work week. It filled that need. Many of our guest, like people everywhere in society, need a place to engage in friendly, light conversation with people rather than machines, without having to discern needed information or make decisions. It filled that need. Finally and selfishly, it has made our lives very interesting by bringing to our door some of the finest and most interesting people one could ask for, and we have had the joy of sharing our beautiful little piece of heaven with so many of those people.”

-James Ketcherside, Founder