Paulina history in stone
The Roba Ranch is located along Paulina and Roba Creek at the upper end of Paulina Valley north of the town of Paulina.
George Roba had come to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1882. He first settled in Pennsylvania and worked in coal mines for a few years. He married Mary Soijka, also from Czechoslovakia.
They learned of homesteading opportunities in Oregon and Roba traveled to Prineville and was hired to herd sheep near Paulina. His wife and their two children soon followed, and in 1889, they settled near the head of Paulina Valley.
Roba raised sheep until the sheep and cattle conflict led to him raising cattle. He also partnered with Lee Miller in operating the store in Paulina. Roba decided to build a fine house on their homestead. He laid the foundation for the house and his son, Joseph, and daughter, Anna, did most of the building construction.
The stone blocks were cut from a quarry near the ranch. Fancy wood carvings and artistic design was done by Joseph Roba with hand tools. The house had six bedrooms and was completed in 1910.
Ruby Roba Barkshire, George and Mary's daughter, took over management of the ranch after her father's death. Barkshire added a new wing to the main house.
Dick and Audrey Bedortha purchased the ranch from Barkshire in 1971. They built a carport and other outlying buildings and added a porch to the outside of the house.
The ranch was acquired by Doug and Susan Stocks in 2004. A Roba family descendant, Robyn Helms Baker, assisted in having the ranch listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Because the remaining ranch complex is typical of late 19th and early 20th century family-run ranching operations, the Roba Ranch was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Nov. 7, 2007.
There are four buildings within a 5.6-acre inset of the total ranch property that includes the historic site. The original barn was built about 1889, and is the oldest structure on the ranch. Today, the porch has been removed but the house remains as a classic and historic stone ranch house.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.