Lompa Ranch Aerial Photos

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.

Lompa Ranch Aerial
© RCI

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.

Lompa Ranch Aerial
© RCI

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.

Lompa Ranch Aerial
© RCI

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.

Lompa Ranch Aerial
© RCI

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.

Nevada State Prison Aerial
© RCI

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.

Carson City Aerial Photo
© RCI

And just for a hell of a lot of extra fun, let’s set the wayback machine to 1954.

1954 Carson City Aerial

Wicked. You’re going to want to blow that one up for sure.

3 comments

  1. These are awesome pictures – even for a relative newbie to Carson City! I wish I could blow them up and print them all…….. then overlay a modern map on them. Interesting how street locations/choices were made as the town expanded eastward. The 1954 shot takes a while to get your bearings on – Hot Springs road was a real deal back then! And is that a small reservoir just south of the airport runways – amazing! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I feel I would never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am having a look forward to your subsequent put up, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

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