Okay... so my great grandfather Charles Rhine lost the great coin toss of 1857 and the name of a town with it. Instead of Rhinesville the town was thus named Clayton.

Then, on October 6th 2007, I lost the recreation of the toss with Mayor Bill Walcutt of Clayton in front of an Octoberfest crowd, including thirty Rhines. I can live with that... I suppose... for the rest of my life.

So... why create a site dedicated to bad coin flipping technique?

Well, this site isn't about a coin toss or just the history of the Rhines, or even the Claytons for that matter -- it's about a small town in America, one of the earliest in California, settled by brave pioneers who struggled to put down stakes in the new world and make something of themselves. There are many such main streets with rich histories across America but I feel Clayton (er... Rhinesville) deserves special recognition -- as do the contributions of the Rhine family.

I therefore want to acknowledge Charles Rhine and his brother Jacob Rhine's contributions to the commerce of this early California town: The Charles Rhine General Merchandise Store, Rhine Hall, Jake's Rhine's Saloon and the Rhine Hotel.

I am also dedicating this site to my brilliantly funny father, Larry Rhine, and my grandfather Elias.

When I visited Clayton for the first time in 2007, for the "Rhinesville" Octoberfest, I immediately felt at home. It's a beautiful historic town with friendly folks who have an awareness of history. I plan on returning often.

So, I hope you enjoy reading about Rhinesville and seeing some early photos of our proud Rhine family.

Until the next coin flip...

Robert Steven Rhine
Mayor of Rhinesville

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