Henry Mette, whose homestead is situated several miles from Folsom in Eldorado county, is a pioneer settler and a pioneer vineyardist of this part of the state, his present ranch having been in his possession and almost his continuous home since 1857. The estate, consisting of two hundred and eighty acres, is devoted principally to viticulture, with a plant on the ranch where he manufactures high-grade wines and brandies, and he also indulges in some general farming and stock-raising. When Mr. Mette settled on this land nearly half a century ago it was covered with brush growth, was almost entirely in the condition of nature, and it is due to his indefatigable labor and persevering industry that the land has been transformed into a scene of profitable cultivation, with the vine rows covering many acres and the instruments and fruits of industry everywhere in evidence. He began the manufacture of wines in 1860, and not long after added the making of brandies to his enterprise, products which his ranch has ever since continued to send forth to market, and which have gained an excellent reputation among California liquors.

Mr. Mette is a German by birth and ancestry, having been born in the kingdom of Hanover, July 2, 1833. By the death of his father, Charles Mette, followed shortly after by that of his mother, he was, when about eight years old, left an orphan, so that the sum of his life's successful achievements represent mainly his own endeavors and in all respects he is a self-made man. Having gained a fair education and learned above all the uses and value of industry, he left the fatherland at the age of eighteen and, taking passage at Bremen on a sailing vessel, landed, seven weeks later, at New Orleans. After spending some time in St. Louis, in the spring of 1853 he joined a company of emigrants which left the Missouri river on April 6, 1853, and after a toilsome journey with oxteams as the principal reliance for transportation he arrived in Sacramento on August 4. At Humboldt sink, in Nevada, leaving the emigrant train, he thence made his way on foot, via Placerville, to Sacramento, walking the entire distance of three hundred miles. After a short stay in Sacramento he became a gold miner near Fiddletown in Eldorado county, and was more or less actively engaged in gold mining until he settled on his present ranch in 1857.

Mr. Mette married Miss Eugenie Lamblet, who was born in the province of Alsace, which at the time of her birth belonged to France but which is now a possession of the German empire. Six children have been born of their marriage: Frank H., in Eldorado county; Rosella, wife of William Steinkamp, of Sacramento; Louise, wife of H. Reid, of Reno, Nevada; Johanna, wife of Joseph Gray, of Reno, Nevada; Louis C., in Eldorado county, and Joseph P., in Eldorado county. The beloved mother of these childrend died January 2, 1900.

In 1890 Mr. Mette moved from his ranch to Sacramento city, and for some years was engaged in the retail wine and brandy business at 529 Seventeenth street. He returned to his ranch in December, 1903, and has enjoyed its beauties and comforts to the present time. Mr. Mette employs irrigation in the growing of his crops, the Natoma Water and Mining Company's ditch supplying the water for his ranch.

Eminently public-spirited in all that concerns the welfare of his community, Mr. Mette has always been a loyal supporter of institutions and enterprises that make for public advancement. He has served as trustee of the school district in which he resides. His politics is Republican. In former years he affiliated with the Odd Fellows at Folsom, and is still a member of the Masonic lodge at that place.

Source: History of the New California - Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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