Straight Ranch Purchased for Boys Camp
Former Wingfield Property Has New Use
March 30th, 1956
It was announced recently that Art Rickel and Jack Ellena of Los Angeles are completing negotiations to purchase the Mel Straight ranch, located eight miles south of Susanville.
Rickel and Ellena plan to use the property for the purpose of operating a private boys’ summer camp.
Rickel is the baseball coach at UCLA and has operated a boys’ camp near Phoenix, Ariz., for the last four years. He will operate the Susanville camp in partnership with Jack Ellena, Susanville’s football All-American, who is now a stalwart guard with the professional Los Angeles Rams.
The camp will be known as the Mountain Meadows Ranch, and will begin operations this summer with an approximate registration of 50 boys between the ages of 7 and 18.
In making the announcement, Rickel said that remodeling operations will start right away to prepare the property for use this summer.
He said that the activities for the enrollees include swimming, baseball, fishing, riding, a junior rodeo and that he hoped that his group could participate in the Susanville Little League and Babe Ruth League.
The Mel Straight property was originally developed by George Wingfield of Nevada into one of the show places of northern California.
It was afterwards owned by the old Susanville Country Club and provided a great deal of recreation for people in this area during the late 1920′s and early 1930′s. Later it was owned by Buck Jones, popular Western movie star, who made his home there until his death.
Rickel and Ellena have already started the moving of equipment from the former site of the boys’ camp at Phoenix to Susanville.
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