Item #8363 [Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  . Noah T. Piper, Catherine Summerville, compilers.
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  
[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  

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Piper, Noah T., Catherine Summerville, et al., compilers.

[Archive of photographs of the Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California and vicinity, with related family photos.]  

22 large-format bromide and silver print photographs (approx. 5” x 7” to 6.25” x 8”), mounted on stiff paper. 19 small-format bromide print photos (3” x 2.2” to 4.9” x 6.5”). 4 small-format silver print photos (1.2” x 1” to 3.6” x 2”). 1 albumen print (7.9” x 5.75”). 7 real photo postcards (3.3” x 5.4”), 5 of them inscribed on the verso in ink. 1 cyanotype (6.5” x 8.5”). 1 ninth plate daguerreotype. 3 4to leaves (10” x 8”), 3 pp. of manuscript in ink. CONDITION: Overall very good, strong tonality, moderate wear to some of the images.

An important collection of fifty-five photographs documenting the noted Oasis Ranch in Mono County, California, its environs, and the affluent Piper family. 

Born in Battle Creek, Michigan, Noah T. Piper (1843–1910) was the eleventh of fifteen children of a British family that emigrated to the U.S. in 1842. Piper came to California in 1855, and in 1872 he established the Oasis Ranch in the southeastern area of Mono County, located some two miles from the Nevada/California border. The name Oasis came from the hundreds of cottonwood and black locust trees that Piper planted, and which significantly altered the appearance of the region. Piper established his ranch to provide food for miners in the area—an operation that proved quite lucrative. His ranch dominated southeastern Mono County’s economy for two decades, and Piper soon became the area’s most influential citizen. His principal occupation was cattle ranching, to which he devoted the bulk of his 2,000 acres. In order to make the ranch self-sufficient, he also grew potatoes, vegetables, hay and alfalfa. In 1879, Piper was appointed postmaster of Oasis, and sometime after 1882, he married Catherine C. Piper (née Summerville, ca. 1855–1939), who was originally from Ontario, Canada, and with whom he had four children. The western Nevada mining towns of Tonopah and Goldfield were dependent on the Oasis Ranch for their food supply, and Piper’s farm products were also shipped to eastern California mining towns. 

Piper’s workforce was about thirty farmhands, comprising white and Native American workers. After having difficulty with white laborers, he began hiring Native Americans and as evidenced by a few images here, he also hired Chinese laborers. According to an interview with Noah Piper’s grandson, Piper maintained something of a patriarchal relationship with the Paiute people, and he and other whites in the area often handled disputes with the Paiute by themselves. Piper is known to have kept skulls in the cellar because they supposedly prevented Indians from stealing farm goods. He hired a Paiute woman named Topsy to care for his eldest daughter Sara, and also opened the ranch once a year for Paiute tribal dances. With his influence spreading beyond southeastern Mono County, Piper was elected agricultural commissioner for Mono County in the 1880s. After mining in the area began dwindling at the turn of the century, he sold his ranch in 1902 for $100,000, resigned as postmaster, and retired to Los Angeles, where he died in 1910 at the age of sixty-seven. Catherine died in Los Angeles in 1939. 

This archive extensively documents the Oasis Ranch operation. Among the subjects documented are workers laboring on the ranch under canopies of tall trees; workers with a group of pack mules or donkeys; a group of Paiute cowboys on horses; laborers next to a pile of logs; a young woman and two men at what appears to be a spring shed, collecting water, and so forth. One evocative image shows white and Asian men standing outside a ranch building, with two Paiute women, a Paiute child, and a small dog seated in the foreground. Two images show the same smelter from different angles, and another shows a woman and two children and a group of laborers with a rail-cart posing in front of a tall wooden pulley system apparently used for ore extraction. Another photo shows three men at the top of a telephone pole. A post office appears in the background and a broadside mounted on the wall bears the date September 5th 1905 and advertises a “Spanish bull fight,” a baseball tournament, and a ball. Among the other subjects captured are a traditional Paiute dwelling with four seated women amidst baskets, pots, etc.; a group of railroad workers posing in front of a train of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway; and a photo of an indoor dance (in which a portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt can be seen hanging on the wall). A number of images picture Noah and Catherine Piper, and their children, both individually and in group portraits. A handful of photographs were taken in Ontario, where Catherine Piper’s family lived. Also included here is an image of miners at work at the “Inez” mine, likely in New Mexico, featuring two identified men: Robert Sommerville and Perry McMerry, the latter evidently a relative of Catherine’s. The archive is rounded out with various portraits of family members, and three miscellaneous receipts made out by Noah Piper, two from 1905, and one from 1906. 

Rare photo-documentation of an important Mono County, California ranch.

REFERENCES: Deep Springs Deep Springs Valley Oasis The Piper Family of Oasis at Owens Valley History online; Southern California Edison at California Public Utilities Commission, California online; The Union Of A Family Heck and A Family Pratt at Lacey Pratts online; Historic-Era Built Environment Survey Report Transmission Line Rating and Remediation Program | Control – Silver Peak Project Mono and Inyo Counties, California at California Public Utilities Commission online.

Item #8363

Price: $3,750.00

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