Litto’s Hubcap Ranch Emanuele "Litto" Damonte (1892-1985)
About the Artist/Site
Emanuel “Litto” Damonte was born in Arenzano, near Genoa, Italy. In 1907, his father, a marble worker, was hired to work on the Memorial Church at Stanford University, and he brought his young son with him to Palo Alto, California. The rest of the family later joined them and they settled in San Francisco.
During the Great Depression, Damonte married and raised ten children. He worked in San Francisco as a cement contractor and tile setter. In 1941 he bought property in Pope Valley, Napa County, for weekend and holiday retreats with his family. When he retired in the mid-1940s, they moved there permanently.
Around 1957, Damonte began collecting hubcaps, eventually decorating his property with more than 2,000 of them. He found many along the road and also welcomed donations, which he carefully arranged. He hung them from trees, decorated the garage and tool shed doors, and added them to fences and cement curbs. Over time the property became known as “Hubcap Ranch,” with a sign at the entrance to the driveway proclaiming it the home of “Litto, the Pope Valley Hubcap King.”
In May 1981 Damonte’s property received recognition as a California State Registered Landmark. Since his death in 1985, Damonte’s grandson has lived on the site, maintaining his grandfather’s art environment, and even adding new elements as inspiration dictates.
~Seymour Rosen /Jo Farb Hernández
bottles, hubcaps, placards and signs, statues, toys
SPACES Archives Holdings
Photographic prints, slides and negatives, field Survey (1984), correspondence, clippings
Map & Site Information
6654 Pope Valley Rd
St. Helena, CA, 94574 us
Latitude/Longitude: 38.6154501 / -122.4281685
Santa Rosa, California
Mill Valley, California