Los Alamos Ranch School


Los Alamos Ranch School

Los Alamos Ranch School was a private boarding school for boys near Otowi, New Mexico, in what would eventually become Los Alamos, New Mexico. It was founded by Detroit businessman, Ashley Pond II, father of Peggy Pond Church, renowned New Mexican poet and author.

The school, which was established in 1917, offered a program modeled after the Boy Scouts of America, combining a college preparatory curriculum with a rigorous outdoor life. Famous alumni included William Burroughs and Gore Vidal.

In November 1942, the school and the surrounding land were purchased by the United States Army's Manhattan Engineering District for use in the top-secret effort to develop the first atomic bomb. The school awarded its final diplomas in January 1943 and the Army took control of the property the following month.

The site was chosen for its isolation, access to water, the fact that it had pre-existing buildings which could be used for housing, the fact that much of the surrounding land was already owned by the federal government, had ample space, and was located on a mesa in which all entrances could be secured. The facility originally was referred to as "Site Y", but would later become known as Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, then Los Alamos National Laboratory.

External links

* [http://www.lanl.gov/history/road/school-closes.shtml "The Ranch School Closes Down"] - article from Los Alamos National Laboratory

* [http://www.losalamoshistory.org/school.htm "History of the Los Alamos Ranch School"] - article from Los Alamos Historical Society, retrieved April 2, 2008


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