The areas of the Point Reyes Peninsula and Olema Valley dairy ranches have been designated as national historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places.

The recognition of their national significance will inform the federal government’s plans for the future of Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s north district, Point Reyes National Seashore spokeswoman Melanie Gunn said.

The ranching history in the area dates back to the 1870s when the ranches established Marin County as the leader in the state’s butter and cheese production.

The 22,237-acre Point Reyes Peninsula Dairy Ranches Historic District was listed in the National Register in October, and the 14,127-acre Olema Valley Dairy Ranches Historic District was listed in April.

The Point Reyes district is comprised of 17 tenant-operated dairy ranches established by the Shafer and Howard families in 1857.

The Olema Valley district between Bolinas and Point Reyes Station includes 19 properties operated by tenants or families in 1856. They represent more than a century of change and modernization from wood frame milking barns to concrete Grade A sanitary barns of the 1940s.

Their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places recognizes their architectural, historical and archeological significance, and ensures they will be part of the planning of state and federally assisted projects, Gunn said.

Story originally published by Bay City News.