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Zinc House: A Stopping Place Through The Years
Zinc House Founders, the Franzia siblings: Brian, Michael, Carol and Paul. Zinc House will be the feature of the upcoming AAUW Oakdale Riverbank Escalon Branch meeting on Jan. 13. Photo Courtesy Of Carol Franzia

For around 170 years what was originally known as Zinc House near Escalon has been a stopping place for travelers. During the gold rush horse teams and drivers carrying supplies to and from the Mother Lode stopped by to change teams and get refreshed. Known then as Zinc House Station it later became Zinc House Hotel and Zinc House School when a hotel and school were built.

Today the house, station, hotel and school are gone, but travelers can still stop in at what is now Zinc House Farm to buy supplies and seek refreshment in the form of farm produce, jams, jellies, spices and other goods. Zinc House Farm includes a five acre certified organic farm, which provides the produce sold at its seasonal farmstand.

On Thursday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m., American Association of University Women (AAUW), Oakdale Riverbank Escalon Branch members and guests will hear about this transformation. Carol Franzia, who was a winemaker for 30 years, will share the story of how in 2018 she and her brothers Brian, Michael and Paul Franzia left the family business to become the founders of Zinc House Farm.

“We wanted to be able to work in a place that reflected our values and beliefs, while benefitting our home community,” Franzia explained.

Members and visitors attending the meeting must be fully vaccinated; wearing masks indoors, and social distancing is strongly encouraged. Prospective members interested in attending this meeting can learn the location or get further information by calling (209) 847-0271.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. Its nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Graduates holding an associates or higher degree from an institution of the AAUW list of qualified institutions and persons holding an honorary degree are eligible for membership in AAUW. Learn more at Branch information is at or by emailing the branch at