ELKO — A ranch in Elko County once belonging to the late singer, actor and honorary Elko mayor Bing Crosby is on the market for $7.28 million.
The Lawson Ranch 45 miles north of Elko was one of Crosby’s ranches in Elko County in the 1940s and 1950s. He was named honorary mayor in 1948. Crosby, who an Academy Award for the 1944 movie “Going My Way,” died in 1977 at age 74.
Northeastern Nevada Museum still has his denim tuxedo, said Toni Mendive, museum archivist.
She said her late husband, Raymond Mendive, used to ride with Crosby on national forest land near the PX Ranch on the North Fork River that Crosby also owned.
“It was a place for his boys to come and experience something outside Hollywood,” Toni Mendive said on Feb. 20.
Crosby, maybe best known for the song and movie “White Christmas,” at one time owned the Quarter Circle S Ranch near Tuscarora, and the ranch’s current owner, Sharon Rhoads, knew Crosby when she was a young girl.
“He and my dad were good friends. He was a very nice man,” she said on Feb. 20. Her late father was Willis Packer.
Crosby was treated like a local when he came to town, and he appreciated his acceptance by the people of Elko, according to a 2003 history written by the late Howard Hickson, a former Northeastern Nevada Museum director.
The late Mayor Dave Dotta’s proclamation naming Crosby as honorary mayor stated that Crosby would “serve ad infinitum.” In other words, the honor continued until his death of a heart attack in Spain, Hickson wrote.
The Lawson Ranch is one of two in Elko County that California Outdoor Properties has listed, according to sales agent Todd Renfrew. The other is the Independence Valley Farm and Ranch in the Wells area, a much larger spread than the Lawson Ranch. Both ranches are owned by Jim Boyer.
Boyer is a Lake Tahoe-based retired telecom entrepreneur, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Lawson Ranch has nearly 3,000 deeded acres, a private airstrip and an airplane hangar, a nearly 5,000-square-foot main residence with five bedrooms and five baths, three additional houses and barns, according to the listing provided by Renfrew. The main residence was renovated as a bed and breakfast.
Lawson Ranch also is a working ranch, currently running 600 or more pairs of all export Angus beef, and it features some of the oldest water rights in Nevada, the real estate brochure states.
“The old homestead house from the 1860s is still on the property,” Renfrew said.
The ranch can be reached by traveling north on Mountain City Highway for 40 miles, then heading west for six miles, the listing says.
The Independence Valley Farm and Ranch is nearly 50,000 deeded acres and borders the Winecup Gamble Ranch, Renfrew said. The ranch also is near Newmont Mining Corp.’s Long Canyon Mine and the listing states that it has mineral potential and geothermal potential.
The Mustang Monument ranch owned by Madeleine Pickens is to the east of the property.
The ranch also has 100,000 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management grazing allotments, and there are roughly 1,250 head of mother cows on the ranch through a third-party lease.
Independence Valley Farm and Ranch is a combination of properties and includes improvements ranging from fencing and irrigation pivots to extending power, Renfrew said.
The ranch along Interstate 80 has a farm headquarters with five homes, barns, corrals, livestock handling and shipping facilities, a private airstrip and water resources that include springs, seasonal streams and wetland marshes.
Renfrew said the asking price for Independence Valley Farm and Ranch is only being disclosed to potential buyers. He can be reached at 707-455-4444.