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Damonte Ranch

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Peleg Brown Ranch
1858-1865; 2000 master plan, Nevada TriPartners. 12945 Old Virginia Rd.

One of the last remaining nineteenth-century ranch complexes in the Truckee Meadows, the Damonte Ranch once supplied agricultural products to the Comstock Mining District. The main house also served as a stage station along the road to Virginia City. Peleg Brown established the ranch, encompassing about 620 acres, in 1858. In addition to developing the alfalfa industry in the Truckee Meadows, he played a significant role in constructing irrigation ditches to bring Truckee River water to farms throughout the valley. He and his descendants erected most of the surviving buildings.

Since 1940, the ranch has been owned by the Damonte family. Its members were among the many Italian immigrants who came to the valley to make a living in farming and ranching, working for others until they had saved enough money to buy their own property. Over the years the owners subdivided the ranch. The Damonte family continues to own the original ranch buildings and the three and one-half acres surrounding the historic core. In addition to the extant buildings, the complex once contained a hay barn, chicken coop, pump house, and outhouses. The Nevada Department of Transportation's construction of the south leg of U.S. 395 in the 1990s greatly degraded the site. The freeway passes very close to the historic complex; despite large berms constructed to shield the buildings from noise and pollution, the ranching landscape has been lost.

As Reno's tech boom continues, the demand for housing has resulted in the development of these formerly rural landscapes. The rest of the Damonte property, along with several adjoining parcels, has been combined to create a nearly 2,000-acre master-planned community. Begun in 2000 by Nevada Tri Partners, the Damonte Ranch development comprises 350 commercial acres, 1,162 residential acres, 173 public facilities acres, and 277 acres of open space and green belts. The City of Reno issued extensive design review regulations in 2007 (with revisions in 2012) to establish the identity, character, and expected quality for the development. As of 2020, much of the construction has been completed.

References

[City of Reno]. "Damonte Ranch Design Standard Handbooks." Report prepared for Nevada Tri Partners, LLC. Reno, NV, December 2007 (rev. October 2012).

Harmon, Mella. "Peleg Brown Ranch Louis Damonte Ranch." Reno Historical. Accessed January 28, 2020. http://renohistorical.org/items/show/169.

"Tripartners: Companies Unite to Develop Damonte Ranch." Nevada Business Magazine, July 1, 2000.

 

 

 

Writing Credits

Author: 
Julie Nicoletta
Updated By: 
Ann Gilkerson (2020)
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Data

Timeline

  • 1858

    Ranch established
  • 1940

    Damonte family buys ranch
  • 2000

    Damonte Ranch master plan

What's Nearby

Citation

Julie Nicoletta, "Damonte Ranch ", [Reno, Nevada], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/NV-01-NW032.

Print Source

Buildings of Nevada, Julie Nicoletta. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 79-80.

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