Preserving a legacy: An integral piece of history is in the loving care of a new family |

Preserving a legacy: An integral piece of history is in the loving care of a new family

by Regina Purcell, Staff Writer

After hundreds of years safely watched over by a direct descendant, a new family has purchased the old Lampe Ranch homestead and plans to faithfully restore and preserve its history.

Diana and Jack Jacobs, of the Bay area, were searching the Internet for a new getaway home when they found the former William Lampe Ranch for sale. Within three days, the Jacobs had purchased the house and surrounding 5 acres. Her mother, Barbra and step-father, Gordon Hauser, are residing in the home and assisting with various restoration projects.

“After Sept. 11, we wanted a place where our extended family can gather,” said Diana Jacobs. “The appeal (of the Lampe Ranch) was the history of it as a family property.”

The house sale included many original pieces of furniture and property, among them several outbuildings D the original creamery, barn, stables, ranch hand cabin and outhouse. A treasure trove of historical documents, including William Lampe’s original records, his wife’s original diary of correspondence, and the children’s paper dolls, school work and report cards, were also included.

Lampe, an immigrant from Germany, purchased the first 146 acres in 1887. An article in the August 1909 “Publicity Edition” of The Record-Courier described the Lampe’s as working “industriously and faithfully to high standards.”

Lampe grew hay, grain, alfalfa and barley on his land that increased to nearly 300 acres, from the original homestead east, past the Carson River and west, past what is now Highway 395.

The Lampe’s were a successful farming family who raised eight children in the home, including a daughter, MaryAnnie, who died of appendicitis when she was 15-years-old. Her headstone and footstone are still on the property and the Jacobs plan to rebury her remains at a sacred place under a tree.

The original house still stands from the first two-room section built in 1880, to the second section, built in 1890, consisting of a kitchen and living room up to the front section, which includes separate women and men’s sitting rooms, and the upstairs bedrooms built in 1901.

The original stenciled floor is still visible upstairs as is the hearty cherry wood used for doors and the expansive main staircase.

“We had 22 people here the Fourth of July,” said Mrs. Hauser. “People go ape when they see this house.

“It reminds me of the old farm houses we had in Kansas, (when she was a child 80-some years ago.)

“I love it. It’s just very homey. It’s so comfortable here.”

Mrs. Hauser said one worker wasn’t so comfortable. She said he was sure the house was haunted, although she said she has never felt uneasy.

“Oh, he was terrified. Eerie, he said.”

The Hausers relocated from Bishop, Calif., where they had resided in the same house for nearly 30 years. She said her husband is having a harder time with the transition, but Mr. Hauser is happy to explore the grounds, pointing out the historic equipment in the outbuildings, including an old sleigh the Lampe’s perhaps used in the winter to travel to town.

“Mostly the home is still original and we have no plans to change that,” said Mrs. Jacobs. “We really liked that somebody didn’t come in and change it too much.

“We believe it is important to the community to preserve this because once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

n Regina Purcell can be reached by e-mail at