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Lee Vining in Mono County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Sheriff James P. Dolan

 
 
Sheriff James P. Dolan Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, November 23, 2007
1. Sheriff James P. Dolan Marker
Inscription.  In July of 1915, the peace and quiet of Mono County was shattered when Sheriff James P. Dolan died as a result of gunshot wounds received while attempting to apprehend two outlaws who had terrorized ranchers a short distance from this location.

Outraged by the shooting of Sheriff Dolan, the citizens of Mono County quickly formed a Sheriff’s posse which tracked the outlaws to a location near the Mono Craters. Justice was served when both outlaws were killed in a shootout with possemen. A coroner’s inquest determined “Death caused by resisting arrest by duly constituted representatives of the sheriff’s office.”

Sheriff Dolan, the 15th lawman to serve that office since the formation of Mono County, made the ultimate sacrifice with the fearless determination which had been entrusted to him by the citizens of Mono County.

                                                            By Martin A. Strelneck
                                                            Sheriff – Mono County
 
Erected 1993 by E Clampus Vitus - Bodie Chapter.
 
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This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Law Enforcement. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1915.
 
Location. 37° 58.604′ N, 119° 8.064′ W. Marker is in Lee Vining, California, in Mono County. Marker can be reached from Picnic Grounds Road, 0.1 miles east of U.S. 395. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lee Vining CA 93541, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Upside-Down House (approx. 1½ miles away); Lee Vining (approx. 1.7 miles away); Mono Lake (approx. 2.4 miles away); Grave of Adeline Carson Stilts (approx. 2½ miles away); Avalanche of 1911 (approx. 5.3 miles away); From Scrubland to Ranchland (approx. 5.3 miles away); The De Chamber Family (approx. 5.4 miles away); De Chambeau Ranch (approx. 5.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lee Vining.
 
More about this marker. The marker is several hundred feet off of I-395, at the top of the parking lot for Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve. Although on the map the turnoff may be called Picnic Grounds Road, on I-395 it may actually simply be signed for the Tufa Reserve.
 
Regarding Sheriff James P. Dolan.
Sheriff James P. Dolan Marker - Wide Shot image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 22, 2008
2. Sheriff James P. Dolan Marker - Wide Shot
Looking north, with Mono Lake in the background.
The Mono County Historical Society 2008 Newsletter on "Law and Order" had this to say about Sheriff Dolan:

"James P. Dolan successfully ran for Sheriff of Mono County in 1906. He was born in Michigan, but was raised in Bodie. Dolan was a rancher, assayer, outdoorsman, and spoke Paiute. He attended the University of Nevada. In 1912, he married Cordelia Hays, the Mono County School's Superintendent. In 1913, they had a daughter, Alice, who still lives in Bridgeport. He won a third term in 1914.

On Sunday morning, July 25, 1915, Sheriff Dolan was called to the Filosena Ranch to investigate the rape of a girl by two armed Mexican Nationals. Dolan and Frank Waltze drove to the Hammond Store (now the Tioga Lodge on US 395) to meet witnesses.

While there, Dolan saw the suspects walking to Lee Vining Creek. Waltze drove the Sheriff down the road and parked, pretending to have car trouble. Dolan got out of the car armed with a 45 pistol, tucked in his belt. He walked to the men, announced himself, and ordered them to surrender. The two suspects drew their weapons, firing on the Sheriff simultaneously. Dolan tried to return fire, but his pistol jammed. Dolan stumbled into the brush, while the suspects fled.

Dolan was taken to Hammonds store where doctors from Bridgeport, Bishop, Carson City, and Reno eventually responded and performed emergency surgery.
Sheriff James P. Dolan Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Denise Boose, August 5, 2009
3. Sheriff James P. Dolan Marker
Dolan was able to describe his attackers while he was conscious. The suspects were tracked down later that day, and were shot dead when they resisted arrest. Sheriff James P. Dolan died early the next day, and was buried at Bridgeport Cemetery."
 
Also see . . .
1. Officer Down Memorial Page for Sheriff Dolan. (Submitted on September 13, 2008.)
2. The California Department of Parks and Recreation's Web Page for Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve. (Submitted on September 13, 2008.)
3. The California Peace Officers' Memorial Web Site. (Submitted on September 13, 2008.)
 
Sheriff James P. Dolan image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Unknown, circa 1900
4. Sheriff James P. Dolan
Sheriff James P Dolan in 1900.
Mono Lake Tufa's image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Denise Boose, August 8, 2009
5. Mono Lake Tufa's
Entrance Sign for Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, November 23, 2007
6. Entrance Sign for Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve
The entrance sign as seen from the marker location. In the background on picture left several tufa towers are visible. These are formed when calcium-rich spring water enters carbonate-rich alkali waters, as in Mono Lake. At the time Dolan was killed, these would have been submerged, as the lake level is some 20 feet lower than when the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water started diverting water from the lake in 1941.
Mono Craters image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, November 23, 2007
7. Mono Craters
This is a view of the Mono Craters mentioned on the marker, taken from the mouth of Lee Vining Creek.
California Peace Officers' Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 12, 2008
8. California Peace Officers' Memorial
Sheriff Dolan is also memorialized at the California Peace Officers' Memorial, located at 10th Street and Capitol Mall in Sacramento, California. Erected in 1988, the Memorial honors the more than 1,400 peace officers who gave their lives in the course of duty. The plaque bearing Sheriff Dolan's name is in the picture closest to the arm of the statue of the grieving woman and child.
California Peace Officers' Memorial - Plaque with Sheriff Dolan's name image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 12, 2008
9. California Peace Officers' Memorial - Plaque with Sheriff Dolan's name
Sheriff Dolan's name can be found in the righthand column, second from the bottom.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 3,052 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 13, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.   3. submitted on September 10, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.   4. submitted on November 6, 2010, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   5. submitted on September 11, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.   6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on September 13, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024