Celios keep Tahoe heritage alive on private ranch
Carlo Guiseppi Celio came to the United States from Switzerland. When he didn’t strike gold, he began a dairy farm in Placerville.
In 1863 he homesteaded on property in what was known as the Upper Lake Valley area of the South Shore. The valley with its towering granite walls reminded him of his home in the Old World. Celio’s first 160 acres on the South Shore were bought for $300, which he paid for in gold.
At one point the Celio stake in Lake Tahoe was about 4,000 acres, making them one of the largest landowners. They ran 500 head of beef cattle from Meyers into Meiss, Big and Freel meadows. During the fall cowboys drove the cattle on horseback to the West Slope of El Dorado County. It was a five-day journey.
Today, the Celios own 103 acres on both sides of South Upper Truckee Road, to the center of the Upper Truckee River, and crossing the Old Meyers Grade twice.
On Aug. 24-25 the property is going to be the site of a 150-year celebration of the ranch. This is one of the largest private property holdings in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Tours of some of the outbuildings will be available, stories of what life was like years ago will be told, and an old-fashioned cowboy barbecue will take place....