Ranch family opens modern outpost in state’s oldest town
November 9, 2008
With a low double-pitched roof, wide front porch, and red brick chimney, Trimmer Outpost, perched on the southern edge of downtown Genoa, welcomes the weary traveler.
Inside the remodeled building, patrons will find artwork, gifts and sundries made by Nevada artisans. In the industrial-sized kitchen, they’ll find canned jams and jellies made from Nevada fruit. In the oversized freezer, 40-pound boxes of beef from grass-fed cows raised on Genoa’s historic Ranch No. 1.
But Trimmer Outpost is more than a roadside store.
“It’s a natural extension of the ranch,” said 44-year-old Lisa Lekumberry.
Lisa and her 37-year-old twin sisters, Sheri Walters and Terri Billman, are the modern threads of a web of history that dates back to the 1850s.
The sisters grew up on Ranch No. 1, which, following the slope of the foothills, rolls like a green, willow-sliced carpet below downtown Genoa.
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The ranch was the first recorded land claim in the state of Nevada, recorded by John Reese in 1852.
The house was built in the 1850s, and an adjacent barn built in 1874. Over the years, the house was used for many things, including the stage depot for the Raycraft Hotel. It was also a butcher shop and a law office.
In 1909, Robert Trimmer purchased Ranch No. 1. His son, Arnold Trimmer, took over the operation in the 1940s and purchased the old house and barn.
In 1959, Arnold’s daughter, Shirley Trimmer, married Roy Giovacchini. The couple moved into the house and had three daughters and one son.
“We lived right on Main Street, and we didn’t have any privacy,” Terri said. “Sheri and I were the first twins born in Genoa, and we were in the newspaper a lot.”
The 1990s had some tragic years for the family. The son, Robert Giovacchini, was killed in a car accident in 1993. Roy Giovacchini died in 1997. When Shirley passed away in 2001, the family had to decide how to carry on the family tradition.
“We needed an outlet for our beef, and we were fortunate to have the house,” Lisa said.
Family members pulled together with a shared vision of what a modern outpost could be. Their childhood house became the ideal place to sell the beef, but the remodeling of house and the barn wasn’t easy.
“It’s hard being on a different schedule,” Sheri said. “It’s a whole lot different than chasing cattle around all day.”
“It is about family,” Lisa said. “We all pitch in and help each other.”
Lisa’s husband, J.B. Lekumberry, runs the ranch’s natural beef program, which recently changed from a cow-calf operation to directsales, where cows are raised from birth to finish, and their meat sold directly to customers. Terri’s husband, Corey Billman, is the ranch manager.
Sheri’s husband, Dan Walters, helps Terri with the bookkeeping, and the sisters’ six children, Anna, Connor, Etienne, Shaylynn, Elizabeth and Whitney, are often seen on horseback driving cattle along the highway.
“We are proud to be part of the ranching community in Carson Valley that is still going strong,” Lisa said.
But the outpost offers more than just beef.
“A lot of local artists came to us,” Sheri said.
The store offers pottery from Planet X Pottery, which is based near Gerlach, handmade soaps from Reno, homemade olive oil from Placerville, Calif., spices, steak knives and embroidery.
Family members went out of their way to retain their heritage and sense of history.
The soaps are displayed in the slots of Genoa’s old post office boxes. The name of Arnold Trimmer can still be seen on the back of slot No. 72.
They also renovated the barn behind the house. With a new floor and roof, the barn in which the sisters once sold Christmas trees with their father will now be used for birthday parties. An adjacent corral will be used for pony rides, and a lush courtyard on the side of the house has already seen a wedding.
“We’ve seen a lot of new people,” Lisa said. “We’ve had a very warm reception from the community.”
Trimmer Outpost is located at 2276 Main Street and is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The store’s grand opening will be Nov. 29 during regular hours.
Trimmer Outpost is also offering canning and cooking classes through December.
For more information, call 782-2518.