I was rummaging around my company’s data files today, and I came across these fantastic slides. They’re aerial photos of Carson City, and I think the date on them is 1984. There weren’t nearly as many as I would have liked, but the ones that were there were pretty cool.
I’m going to start with these shots of the Lompa Ranch. With all the talk lately about how the Lompa Ranch is going to be sold for development, I thought these photos did a good job of showing just how expansive the Ranch is. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to scan the photo for details and try to discover what has changed over the last 22 years!
Let’s dive in. Click on each photo for a huge blow-up.
Here’s a good overview of the ranch. Sure, this was taken 22 years ago, but things are largely unchanged since then. There’s been development around the edges, mostly along Saliman Street, but the Ranch itself is still this big huge grassy area bisected by Fifth Street.
The High School. In the distance of this shot you can see downtown Carson too, with the Ormsby House when it was still brown (and open) and the Kinkead Building. At the far right edge is Mills Park without the Pavilion, and Wild Bill’s Motel on the corner where Walgreen’s is now.
This shot, further east, clearly shows all the natural drainage channels that have developed over the centuries as water from the mountains tries to escape to the river. They also give the Ranch a ready source of irrigation, making this part of the valley particularly suited to agriculture.
More to the east, we come to the Nevada State Prison. When it was built, it wasn’t a prison; rather it was a resort where the residents of Carson City could spend the day or the weekend relaxing in natural hot springs that bubbled up from the ground. It was also way out of town. It’s still kind of remote, as you can see from this picture, but with today’s roads and cars it’s only a couple of minutes away from downtown.
Much of the ranchland in this photo has already been dug up to build the Carson City Freeway. Today there’s a huge retention pond in the center of this view, and the right-of-way for the roadbed itself cuts through the right half of the image.
At the far eastern end of the Ranch, we have the Carson City Wastewater Treatment Plant. Nasty stuff; you don’t want to think about what goes on there. You can also see the intersection of Fifth and Edmonds, sans roundabout. And the bottom half of the picture is now completely taken up with houses.
So there have been changes in eastern Carson City over the last 22 years, for sure, but probably less than in other parts of town. The Lompa Ranch has been this big hulking mass of open space that has resisted development. But now that the family has put the land up for sale, this last empty bit of the valley will soon be filled in. It would be interesting to take to the skies in another 10 years and reshoot these photos, see exactly how much has changed.
For comparison, here’s a more recent photo, from 2003.
And just for a hell of a lot of extra fun, let’s set the wayback machine to 1954.
Wicked. You’re going to want to blow that one up for sure.