welcome to


home of Bill Wink





You might ask yourself; why ‘socminco.com’?

Here’s the answer: Years ago this was the home page for an “Old-West Trading Company” named ‘Socrates Mining Company’. After closing down the company the page has been used for personal purposes just as it is today.


In My Opinion



I have recently written and had printed six small books regarding the Middletown, Lake county, California area, my home. These books each tell a different story about something that happened here. They are full of local history, from our 480,000 year old natural fresh water lake to our violent volcanic past and how these have influenced the development of South Lake County.


This is not a profit motivated venture by me. The books are being donated to non-profit organizations to be used as a fund raising avenue. The books are available at the Middletown Senior Center thrift store located at 21256 Washington Street, Middletown and Gibson Museum at 21267 Calistoga Street, Middletown.


I hope you will make a donation to either one of these organizations and collect all six books and then, after reading all of them, comes that certain day when you visit the Middletown Cemetery, you will find that some of the markers speak to you differently, because now you are an informed member of the community that those resting there help build.


Middletown Senior Center, Post Office Box 1037, Middletown, CA 95461

Gibson Museum, Post Office Box 31, Middletown, CA 95461




This is the first book, ‘MURDER IN THE MAYACAMAS’, and it tells the story of a 35 year old divorcee who was murdered during the stormy early morning hours of November 20, 1966. Law enforcement, to this day, has never solved this case. However, in 2018 some startling new evidence came forth and it completely changed the dynamics of this event. This book tells that story.


The book is comprised of 13,289 words on 74 pages


Read it on-line now



The second book, ‘GUENOC RANCH & The Days Of The Flying Muleshoe’, relates the history of the Ranch from the Lake Miwok, who lived around a lake they called Wennok, through all the major landholders to present day. It also tells the story of a period in time from 1955 into the 1970s that I experienced and that I called “The Days of the Flying Muleshoe”.


This book is comprised of 9,846 words on 71 pages



NOW 24,414 words 142 pages

I have published on-line a 2nd Edition of this book about Guenoc Ranch. It has lots of new history and is over twice as large as the 1st Edition with more pictures. Click the below link to read the new version

Rancho de Guenoc



This is the third book, ‘CINNABAR’ - The Saga Of The White Cap Murders’. This book tells the story of murders that took place three miles south of Middletown, October 10, 1890, at a roadside saloon known as ‘The Camper’s Retreat’ and why the murderers were called White Caps and why it became a national story. It also addresses the Bradford mine and its relationship to the murderers.


The book is comprised of  12,041 words on 74 pages


Read it on-line now



This is the fourth book, ‘ENGLISH’. This book tells the story of the English family. From them fighting Indians in the 1830s in Missouri, to their move to Middletown and all the violence that followed them. The most infamous of the family was Lawrence Buchanan “Buck” English and most of the story focuses on his life. Also included as a bonus in the book is the story of a local kleptomaniac, “George Coburn”.


The book is comprised of 12,215 words on 67 pages


I have published on-line a 2nd Edition of this book about the English family. It has new history. It is now 14,211 words on 84 pages. Click the below link to read the new version.




This is the fifth book, ‘FIRE’ - Middletown Is Burning -  This book tells the story of Middletown’s history regarding fire, starting with the 1918 fire through the fire that destroyed Hardester’s Market. It also tells the story of some of the people involved during this time and reveals the history of some landmarks like the Lake County House.


The book is comprised of  11,296 words on 71 pages.


Read it on-line now



This is the sixth book, HISTORY- They Left Their Mark On South Lake County. There are eight short stories in this book plus an Addendum to the “FIRE” book. It starts with the Native Americans who lived around Wennock lake and ends with the Addendum to “FIRE.



This book is comprised of 14,544 words on 81 pages.


Links to general interest pages


Weather HVL

Seasonal Rainfall Log

Check The Water Flow Under Putah Creek Bridge

SLCFPD Scanner Frequencies

County Sheriff


Cal Fire


California Highway Patrol


Cal-Trans Road Conditions


Recent Earthquakes


Senior Center




Lake County News


Lake County Record-Bee


Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Faux News


Revolver News









Links to history related pages on this website


The History Of Middletown’s Corner Store

Middletown Before Your Grandparent's Day: By Skee Hamann

The Story Of The Mountain Mill House


Lawley Toll Road


How The Lure Of The Legendary Tom Dye Rock Led To Tragedy – My Personal Experience


History Middletown Volunteer Fire Department


Lake County’s Volcanic Past And Future


Mount Saint Helena


Earle Wrieden Speaking To The Middletown Luncheon Club About The History Of Middletown, Lake County, Ca

Music Video Old Pictures Of Middletown, Ca


Music Video Of Cobb Mtn Resorts

My Ancestral History – The Casper Wink Family In Pennsylvania 1692

Wink Family Tree


Wink Family History As Reported In The Kutztown Patriot Newspaper

Wink Family Obituaries

The Family Of John And Margaret Wyne


The Case Of The Missing Ancestors



The Read & Strickler Families Of South Lake County


The Twinkies


The Valley Fire Time-Line The First 24 Hours


GUENOC RANCH & The Days Of The Flying Muleshoe 2nd edition

The Story of Thomas Kearney Dye

The Story of Joseph Getz

The Story of George Coburn

The Murder of Ham Herrick

A. H. Butts Butts Cyn Rd


The Old soldier Rd -  The Bloody Island Massacre







Contact: bill@socminco.com

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