About a century ago, Dechambeau Ranch was one of the largest ranches in the Mono Basin. It raised cattle, sheep, chickens, alfalfa, and vegetables to be sold in Bodie, Aurora, Lundy, and Lee Vining. The ranch was first settled around 1871 by Italian immigrant Nicholas Dondero; in 1906 the place was purchased by Louis Dechambeau, who had come from Québec to mine in Bodie. Seven children grew up here, one of whom (Norman) still lives in Lee Vining and helps out in the museum there.
Today, Dechambeau Ranch is Forest Service land, maintained as part of the Mono Basin Scenic Area. And it’s a great place for a bit of night photography around the full moon.
Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
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