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April 22, 2005

Litto's Hubcap Ranch — California State Historical Landmark No. 939


Picture above and below and located in Pope Valley, California, it was started in 1932 by Emanuel "Litto" Damonte ( immediately below).


His grandson, Mike Damonte, told New York Times reporter Jerry Garrett in a story that appeared this past Monday that his grandfather loved to collect bright, silvery things.

"Anything shiny," he recalled. "Tinfoil, soda cans, hubcaps."

Garrett wrote, "The fascination was fed by a wheel-eating pothole in front of the Napa Valley ranch. Said Damonte, 'My grandfather would hang the hubcaps he found on our wire fence along the road.'"

And thus do great things come from small, humble beginnings.

By the time the elder Damonte died in 1985 he had accumulated over 2,000 hubcaps, adorning more than two miles of fence.


In 1987 Litto's Hubcap Ranch was recognized as as landmark, "One of California's exceptional 20th Century folk art environments."

Garrett noted that there are now over 5,000 hubcaps in the display and that "it probably reflects enough light to be seen from space."

The grandson ran for a position on the local school board two years ago.

He said, "My opponent asked people, 'Why would you vote for someone who lives in a junkyard?'"


Mike Damonte won the election and viewed his victory as a mandate for the ranch to continue its pursuit of new acquisitions and ever–increasing glory.

April 22, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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