In the name of the Johnson and Springmeyer families, we honor the original ranch, formerly the Lazy J Ranch in Douglas County. Chris Johnson was born in Denmark, and his wife, Celia, was from Germany. It is said that they came to the Carson Valley in the 1870s with Mormon Settlers, where they purchased the ranch and raised a family at their Mottsville Lane property.
Carson Valley in the 1870s with Mormon Settlers, where they purchased the ranch and raised a family at their Mottsville Lane property.
After Chris Sr. passed away, Chris Johnson Jr. retained the ranch and partnered with Knox William at the nearby Judge Hickey ranch to raise Hereford cattle and hay. Knox William passed away in 1934 after falling off his horse on Mottsville Lane. After his death, his wife Stella Van Dyke Johnson, a single woman with three small children, took over the cattle operation on her own until her son, Knox Van Dyke continued to operate his portion of the ranch while grazing in the summer at Lake Tahoe.
On his retirement in 1992, Knox Van Dyke leased the ranch to Helen Kolbe.
Helen Kolbe Johnson took the reins and continued to raise Hereford/Angus cross cattle on Knox’s ranch with the help of their son Drew Kolbe. Therefore, Drew raises cattle on the same property as his great, great grandparents. Majorie Springmeyer retains ownership of her portion of the Lazy J Ranch with her daughter-in-law Bonnie, and her grandchildren: they lease it to a local rancher.
The Triple S Ranch of south Reno raises cattle, sheep and bees. The original operation was acquired in 1874 by Ferdinand Ritter but is now held by the Lorraine Dodge Family Trust.
Originally purchased for $2,600 in gold coins, the property encompassed 160 acres. Ritter initially bought the property to keep his four sons and daughter safe from the “many wild and rowdy inhabitants of Virginia City.”
The land was lush with springs and even attracted some gold mining claims. Ritter and his son Herman used the ranch for their own food and to sell vegetables in Virginia City.
In the 1960s, the ranch was leased to family friends who took over its operation.
Now, Lorraine Dodge’s daughter Michelle, and her husband Jack Spencer Jr., have assumed the ranching and farming. The Triple S Ranch was named to honor past and present family members—Sullivan, Savery and Spencer—who envisioned the property as a place for future agricultural production. Jack and Michelle Spencer, along with their sixth-generation boys, Hunter and Chase Archer, carry on the tradition of ranching and farming by immersing themselves into the production of cattle, sheep, bees and pasture land. Hopefully, this small but highly desirable property will prosper for another 140 years.
The Nevada Centennial Award is presented to the Johnsons and Springmeyers for the longstanding contribution to Nevada agriculture and the rich heritage they have given to the state.
Martin Ranch, Eureka and Nye Counties (1887)
Manha Farm, Lyon County (1912)
Day-Annett-Costa Ranch, Lyon County (1905)
Lytle Ranches, Lincoln County (1865)
Robert Getto Farm, Churchill County (1911)
Getto Farms, Churchill County (1911)
Anker Ranch, Pershing County (1877)
Anker Ranch, Inc., Pershing County (1877)
Ankers, Inc., Pershing County (1877)
Quilici Ranch, Lyon County (1881)
Skip’s Place, Churchill County (1907)
Lawrence Ranch, Churchill County (1908)
Bradshaw “End of the Rainbow” Ranch, Lincoln County (1873)
Bailey Ranch, Eureka County (1875)
Testolin Ranch, Churchill County (1907)
Ranch No. 1 (Trimmer/Giovacchini), Douglas County (1909)
Perfecta Vista Ranches-Mathewson Ranch, Churchill County (1909)
Kallenbach-Ormachea-Sherman Ranch, Churchill County (1908)
The Capurro Brothers, Sparks, Washoe County (1869)
Duval Ranching Company, Ruby Valley, Elko County (1870)
Blue Eagle Ranch, Tonopah, Nye County (1895)
Bunker Farm, Bunkerville, Clark County (1901)
Ferraro Cattle Company, Paradise Valley, Humboldt County (1902)
Green Springs Ranch, Duckwater, White Pine County (~1899)
Heise Family Ranch, Gardnerville, Douglas County (1902)
Krenka Ranch, Ruby Valley, Elko County (1865-1870)
Laura Springs Ranch, Gardnerville, Douglas County (1863)
Snyder Livestock Company, Yerington, Lyon County (1887)
Riordan Ranch, Jiggs, Elko County (1900)
Stodieck Farm, Minden, Douglas County (1868)
Wilkinson Little Meadow Ranch, McDermitt, Humboldt County (1900)
Andersen Home Ranch, Carson City (1880’s)
Buckle D Ranch, Ruby Valley, Elko County(1889)
Calcutta Ranch, Vya, Washoe County (1885)
Capurro-Durkee Ranch, Reno, Washoe County (1890)
Cushman-Corkill Ranch, Fallon, Churchill County (1860)
Dalton Ranch, Clover Valley, Elko County (1892)
Glaser Land and Livestock, Halleck, Elko County (1883)
Heinz Ranch, Reno, Washoe County (1885)
Henningsen Family Ranch, Gardnerville, Douglas County (1878)
Hussman Land and Livestock, Gardnerville, Douglas County (1872)
Mack Land and Cattle, Minden, Douglas County (1860’s)
Overland Land and Livestock, Ruby Valley, Elko County (1873)
Pinson Ranch, Golconda, Humboldt County (1884)
Prunty Family Ranch, Mountain City, Elko County (1894)
Scossa Ranch, Gardnerville, Douglas County (1872)
Stewart’s Ninety-Six Ranch, Paradise Valley, Humboldt County (1864)