Spotlight – David Scharlach


California history embraces Rancho Murieta. With land nearly untouched for over 150 years, we are enveloped by the amazing legacy of California’s early indigenous people, Mexican and Yankee entrepreneurs, gold rush miners, and all that came after. It is preserved within Deer Creek Hills, an extraordinary 4500-acre land trust that embraces Rancho Murieta to the north and east.

History Lives Here

Rancho Murieta Today is very fortunate to have our own David Scharlach to be our local historian sharing his zest for history.

About 17 years ago, David Scharlach, then a local scout leader, came to the Sacramento Valley Conservancy to volunteer as a hiking docent. SVC owns and manages the Deer Creek Hills property. He had reviewed some initial public records and was struck by the significance of this unique area.

Soon, learning about DCH and sharing with others what he discovered became a passion for him. He took research skills developed as an attorney and reviewed old law cases, assessor records, maps and old newsprint. He spread out into fostering friendships with knowledgeable archeologists and descendants of its early settlers and miners. He walked the ground with Native Americans, history professors like Albert Hurtado and relevant authors including Naida West. He has led over a 1000 guests back in time and safely returned them to the present. As his “history hikes” became popular, he was approached by some who had personal stories and remembrances to share.

He looks forward to leading these hikes again into the gold fields and sacred lands of the Nisenan Indians. Recently, he received recognition from the State Indian Museum as an Honorary Native American Docent.

David thinks he is much more a storyteller than a teacher. He looks forward to writing a column for Rancho Murieta Today and sharing the “Tales of the Blue Oaks.”