Luigi Quilici immigrated from Italy and established his ranch in Dayton in 1881. A few years later, Ruggero Quilici, Luigi’s youngest son, moved his wife, Nunzia, and three children, Salvatore, Ledo and Rita from Italy to the ranch. Son Larry was born later in America. It is the oldest operating one-family ranch along the lower Carson River. Nunzia did not want to move to America, and none of them spoke English when they arrived. Times were hard and they spent long hours planting crops like potatoes with a horse-drawn plow.

Now they cherish the pastures that are watered by the Sierra snowdrifts that bring the alfalfa and Sudan grass to life and water their herds of livestock. They raised their families on the ranch, and now their children are raising their families. The ranch is almost totally surrounded by development but hopefully will remain a haven for deer, bald eagles and other wildlife for another 100 years. In 2010, the Quilici Ranch was a recipient of the Nevada Centennial Award Ranch & Farm Award.


This entry is from the Nevada Centennial Awards Ranch & Farm Program which recognizes agricultural families who have owned and operated the same land in Nevada for 100 years or more. Forty-seven families have now been inducted into the program that began in 2004. The awards program is sponsored by the Nevada Agriculture Plate funds, Farm Bureau, Agricultural Foundation, Nevada Department of Agriculture, Cattlemen’s Association and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information about the Nevada Centennial Awards Ranch & Farm Program please visit