Los Alamos Ranch School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fuller Lodge was the main building of the Los Alamos ranch school

Los Alamos Ranch School was a private boarding school for boys in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, near Otowi, in what would eventually become Los Alamos, New Mexico. It was founded by Detroit businessman Ashley Pond II, father of Peggy Pond Church, renowned New Mexican poet and author.[1]

The school, which was established in 1917, offered a program modeled after the Boy Scouts of America, combining a college preparatory curriculum with a rigorous outdoor life. Famous alumni included William S. Burroughs, Gore Vidal[1][2] and Santa Fe Opera founder John Crosby.[3]

In November 1942, the school and the surrounding land were purchased by the United States Army's Manhattan Engineering District for use in the top-secret effort to develop the first atomic bomb. The school awarded its final diplomas in January 1943 and the Army took control of the property the following month.[1]

The site was chosen for the Manhattan Project because of its isolation, access to water, the fact that it had pre-existing buildings which could be used for housing, the fact that much of the surrounding land was already owned by the federal government, had ample space, and was located on a mesa in which all entrances could be secured. The facility originally was referred to as "Site Y", but would later become known as Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, then Los Alamos National Laboratory. During World War II, the school's Fuller Lodge and the Big House were used as social gathering places for Los Alamos project personnel, and some other buildings were used for housing. The school buildings were known as "Bathtub Row" because they were the only houses in Los Alamos with bathtubs.[4]

Currently, Fuller Lodge serves as the site of the Los Alamos Historical Museum. The main part of the Lodge is open for visitor viewing and is frequently used for meetings or weddings. The Los Alamos Art Center is housed in the south wing by Central Avenue.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "History of the Los Alamos Ranch School" - article from Los Alamos Historical Society, retrieved April 2, 2008
  2. ^ William S. Burroughs (edited by James Grauerholz and Ira Silverberg; 1998), Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader, Grove Press, published 2000, ISBN 0-8021-3694-X, ISBN 9780802136947
  3. ^ Kozinn, Allan (December 17, 2002). "John Crosby, 76, Dies; Started Santa Fe Opera". New York: The New York Times. pp. B10. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Ranch School Closes Down", Los Alamos National Laboratory website

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°52′55″N 106°18′08″W / 35.88194°N 106.30222°W / 35.88194; -106.30222