“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Lee Vining in Mono County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

The De Chamber Family

The De Chamber Family Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 25, 2015
1. The De Chamber Family Marker
Captions (left to right): Ranch children attended the Mono Lake School which was located near highway 395, a four-and-a-half-mile trip. In the winter, kids skied to school. Herbert De Chambeau is seated second from the right.; The De Chamber family takes a moment from its chores to pose for a picture (Left to right: Louis W., Mary, Annie, Dewey, and Violet and Darius in front). Many of the photos you see here were taken by Violet De Chamber (shown right, with lambs) with her Brownie camera. The family had little time for games; summer and winter, running the ranch meant everyone worked from dawn to dark.; Here, Violet De Chamber has her hands full with a lamb and a mother sheep (1924).; Louis W. De Chambeau's second wife, Mary (Currie) De Chamber was known throughout the basin for her wonderful pea soup and creamed new potatoes and peas - made with produce grown on the ranch.
Inscription. Drawn to California by gold, Louis W. (L.W) De Chambeau's father moved to Bodie from Ontario, Canada, in 1878; L.W. followed two years later when he was 18 along with other members of their French-Canadian family. L.W. purchased the ranch from Nicholas Donero, who sold it to fund exploration in Alaska.
Only a few people struck it rich in California's second gold rush, and Bodie proved to be too much of a big city for the De Chambeau family. They settled in the Mono Basin, intermarried with other ranching families, and worked the property for two generations.
The De Chambeau family was self-sufficient except for a few staples such as sugar and salt they bought from the Hammond general store, which is now the Tioga Lodge on Hwy 395. Their beds were stuffed with feathers from Mono Lake ducks and if they had sore throats, they gargled with Mono Lake water. For Christmas, they enjoyed homemade gifts and sometimes had the treat of an exotic orange in their stockings.
Erected by Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service.
Location. 38° 2.889′ N, 119° 5.753′ W. Marker is near Lee Vining, California, in Mono County. Marker is on Cemetery Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lee Vining CA 93541, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
The De Chamber Family Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 25, 2015
2. The De Chamber Family Marker
The marker is to the left of the tree.
At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. From Scrubland to Ranchland (within shouting distance of this marker); De Chambeau Ranch (within shouting distance of this marker); Avalanche of 1911 (approx. 3.7 miles away); Grave of Adeline Carson Stilts (approx. 4.2 miles away); Mono Diggins (approx. 4.8 miles away); Sheriff James P. Dolan (approx. 5.4 miles away); Upside-Down House (approx. 6.3 miles away); Lee Vining (approx. 6.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Lee Vining.
More about this marker. This marker is located at the De Chambeau Ranch. Access is by heading south from Cemetery Road on an unnamed dirt road.
Categories. AgricultureSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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