By Sharon Sndyer
Los Alamos Historical Society
Boys from the Los Alamos Ranch School’s Spruce Patrol at Camp May (date unknown).
Courtesy/Los Alamos Historical Society Archive
The Los Alamos County Park known as Camp May has long been enjoyed as a place for picnics, camping, hiking, birding, and many other outdoor pursuits, but a look into its history can make possible an even greater appreciation.
Camp May came into existence in the early years of the Los Alamos Ranch School (LARS) when a cabin was built in 1922-1923 on a site leased from the Forest Service. The large cabin with its stone fireplace became a popular base camp for weekend trips into the mountains and for skiing and hunting trips for the older LARS boys.
The cabin was a gift of George and Edith May of Chicago. Their son, George T. May III, was one of four graduates of the Ranch School in 1923. The generosity of the May family and the advantage of special use permits from the Forest Service helped to enlarge the school’s campus without the need to purchase more land. The Ranch School would eventually own more than 750 acres including its main campus around Fuller Lodge, but the use of thousands of acres of national forests and park land greatly enhanced the possibilities.
These articles are written by the Los Alamos Historical Society Staff. Many of these articles were originally published by the