From Alfalfa Field
to International Waystation
A Young Town Above An Old Lake
Just across the creek to the north lies the little town of Lee Vining. As towns go in this country, Lee Vining
is a youngster, subdivided in 1926 from Chris Mattley's alfalfa field. Today tens of thousands of visitors from
every state in the United States and over a hundred different countries visit the Mono Basin each year.
The Search for a Name
At first the little town was called "Lakeview." When the townspeople
applied for a post office they were told that another town beat them to
the name. On second try, they chose a name that nobody else would
have - Lee Vining.
Leroy Vining was one of the first settlers in the
Mono Basn. He arrived around 1852 and
established himself about two miles upstream from
here on what became known as "Vining's Creek."
Lee Vining built a sawmill and sold lumber in the
mining town of Aurora. He came to an untimely
end when he accidentally shot himself with his
own revolver while exiting an Aurora saloon.