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Memories triggered from letter

Letters to the Editor


The letter to the editor Nov. 6 by Roberta Warden Gamble brought back memories.

I knew Billy Bell in the 1930s. He had two bands of sheep. There were 1,000 ewes and 1,200 lambs in a band. The reason there were more lambs in a band was because several ewes had twins.

Belvedere was Billy Bell’s headquarters. His sheep were wintered there. The lambs were born in the spring and the sheep sheared of their wool. The sheep grazed the nearby hills until driven to the mountains for the summer. The summer range included Coyote Creek, Armstrong Mountains, Mill Creek, Whitelaw Creek, Moses Mountain, North Star Creek and the Stepstone drainage. The only roads were two short ones to homestead.

Each band had a herder and a packer. The herder’s job was to graze the sheep and protect them from predators. The packer’s job was to take care for the pack string. There was a riding horse and several mules and horses. The packer was to maintain the trails, move camp when an area was grazed. He was the cook and he looked for strayed sheep if some were lost.

Billy Bell would stop at the McClure ranch to meet a packer or leave supplies.

Cecil and Albert Scott managed one of Billy Bell’s bands of sheep. Billy’s wife Adline was a very reserved and proper lady. She had dark hair and wore fine clothes and jewelry. The Bells had one daughter Audrey.

Don McClure

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