This is Constantia Ranch in Long Valley, California. I just finished reading "Twenty Miles from a Match, by Sarah Olds, a history of homesteading in northern Nevada. Their place was close to Pyramid Lake, north of Reno, and Contstantia, California was their post office, 18 miles away. I drove up there today. It's eight miles from our house.
The drive took just minutes, where it took them all day by horseback and this task was done by their children - the adults had work to do. It is still a working ranch - all of Long Valley is occupied by working ranches.
Ian and I had driven up here a number of years ago and the thing that struck me was the layers of history that are still visible. You can see that this structure was once someone's home. maybe late 19th, early 20th century.
The compound is a litany of ranching history. This house also abandoned is from a later time, though I'm guessing that the garage is a much more recent addition. Always, these ranches are surrounded by poplar and cottonwood trees for important summer shade.
This is another of the abandoned residences in the compound and it seems more recent than the last two. I wish there were a story teller somewhere, because you know there have to be a lot of them. Mim's husband Bob asked me if I knew anything about this ranch. I wish I did. He's the one who told me that it's pronounced Con-stan-sha.
So here the ranch sits at the foot of Virginia Peak, conven-
iently located next to the railroad, which I wonder if it's secret to it's survival. Ironically, it's only one mile from the highway and might as well not exist as far any traveler is concerned.
Driving away, my eye is caught by something. Do you see it? Just to the left of the speed sign? It's a prong-
horn antelope. I had heard a tractor fire up just before this. Did it spook him or did I???
But wait - there's more. About a half dozen more. No wonder I didn't see any evidence of a garden. And if there were one, the antelope would be most grateful. They are great fans of gardens.
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