some of our History
Alpine old-timers have said the acreage was originally patented the early 1880’s by Fred Schepel and built on one of the oldest Ranch locations in the community. The original size was said to have been 300 acres. Fred, also known as “Dutch Fred”, was a German farmer who planted a vineyard and produced wine on a small scale, for commercial sale. It is said that Fred was shot and killed by an angry drunk who had been refused a sale. Fred’s widow, Mrs. Fisher, then sold the ranch to Ida May Russell and James Russell.
The Jones family hired Lee Roper and his wife as property managers. They and their two daughters had relocated from Nebraska to Alpine to be closer to Lee’s in-laws. After accepting employment from the Jones, Lee moved his house from the Lazy-A Ranch to the “Happy Valley Ranch”. It was conveniently placed at the entrance of the property where Lee was able to provide gate-keeping duties. Lee soon became an exceptional employee as well as an active and respected member of the Alpine Community. Lee was Alpine’s first Fire Chief and held the position for four years. He was admired by many and it is said that all of Alpine sadly mourned his passing.