Photos courtesy of Diana Conroy
White-Spring Ranch, so named due to the original owner's last name was White and there were two ever-running springs on the property, is the only Historical Ranch in Latah County on the National Register and has a rich pioneer history.
John Lorang built his pioneer home by adding onto the original 1885 (or earlier) homestead, in 1890 and again in 1904. He filled his ranch with a very large Grove of trees, collected from all over the world, preserved local and exotic animals, nests and eggs, as a taxidermist and had an amazing collection! Most of this collection was later donated to the University of Idaho, and recently became part of the Conner Museum, Washington State University. Plans are in the works to identify his collections there. Together with his wife, Mary (Gesellchen) Lorang, and their ten children they added on to the Farmhouse until it became a grand (one of John's favorite terms) home with two stories and an upper balcony. This may have at one time all been lost. There is a story of how one of the farm hands, sleeping in an alcove near the kitchen woke to a fire in his room. It was a terrifying night until the fire had been contained.
One of the curio cabins behind the house, a wonderful old 1884 or earlier log cabin, with a stone chimney and fireplace, was the original cabin on a neighbor's farm. It was given to John for use as a curio cabin. John and his son, Charles, then numbered each log and then carried them down the hill by wagon and reassembled them on the farm.
With no engineering experience, John Lorang built an aqueduct from a Spring on the farm. The water flowed to the Barn, a trough for the animals in the field, and to a fountain, which he built himself in 1913.
Restoration work of this historic site will require a large financial investment. We plan to apply for as many grants as possible, but believe a significant amount of funding will need to come from family, friends and anyone interested in efforts to preserve the History of this incredible Pioneer. To read more detailed information on the history of the White-Spring Ranch, visit their website. Donations can be made to "Lorang Farm Restoration" at any branch of Wells Fargo bank.