GOAT RANCH CALIFORNIA
Never saw one goat, baaap…
Occupied Historic Ranch
Circa 1880 to Present
Somewhere about 1900, ownership became that of the Scanavino Family. The
Scanavino Family was originally from Italy and resided in Genoa Nevada prior to
settling on the Mono Basin. The Scanavino Family were well known Horse
experts. Some say Goat Ranch derived its name from the Scanavino children who
resided on the ranch, although goats were never raised nor a part of the family
ranch. Others contend that Goat Ranch got its name because goats were raised
on the ranch prior to Joe Scanavino's purchase and the children would not let
rest of that fact. A school house was built on the property to educate the 14
children that comprised the Scanavino Family. Although in severe decay, the
school house is still standing. The ranch played a key role in providing fresh
produce for the nearby boom towns of Bodie and Aurora. The produce business
was a success for the Scanavino family who planted a truck garden with a state
of the art warm air ventilation system that allowed them to send their produce
to market before season. Joe Scanavino Sr. passed on in 1955 and was buried
in the Bodie cemetery with his brothers and sisters and is survived by a son,
Joe Jr. Who resides back east.
This site is unique because
it was here in 1881 where a famous Bodie murder suspect was captured.
Apparently a French bachelor, Joseph DeRoche had been spending a lot of time
with the wife of a miner by the name of John Treloar. Treloar, feeling
uncomfortable with the relationship, forbid his wife from dancing with DeRoche.
That evening, while coming off of the late shift at one of the mines, Treloar
entered the Miners Union Hall where he saw his wife being smothered by DeRoche.
As he confronted his wife, DeRoche intervened and requested they talk it over
outside. It was here where witnesses say DeRoche, who was walking behind Treloar,
pulled a gun from his pocket and placed it to the back of John Treloar’s head
and pulled the trigger. Once arrested, DeRoche called on the famous Pat Reddy
to defend him. Meanwhile rumors of an illegal lynching were spreading across
town. Reddy requested that his client be relocated from jail to a Lodging
house under the watch of the Deputy Sheriff for safety. That night DeRoche
escaped. When the residents heard of this, they formed the "601 Vigilante
Committee" and sent out a posse to locate the whereabouts of DeRoche. It
was not long before DeRoche was apprehended at the Goat Ranch and returned to
town where he met his fate with the 601 and was hung at midnight. As the story
goes, was Louis De Chambeau (who sometime later founded the
Dechambeau Ranch) that cut DeRoche down the following morning.
Today, Goat Ranch is still
occupied by a caretaker hired by the Scanavino family. And the property is
clearly marked as being private.
Photo of Joe Scanavino courtesy of Mono Basin Historic
Goat Ranch slowly slipping in to the prairie