The fertile soils of the Palouse helped him succeed in his endeavors at the place he called the White Spring Ranch. He began to retire from farming in 1910, transitioning to his other interests which included taxidermy, photography, coin collecting, and collecting natural specimens, particularly eggs and seashells. Sometime after 1914 his collections began taking up too much room in the family home, even though it had been significantly expanded over the years. He disassembled a nearby cabin and moved it onto his property to become his “curio cabin.” He built a second “curio house” close by and began filling the buildings with items of interest to him.
Not all of the items representing Lorang’s interest in the natural world could be kept indoors. He planted an extensive grove of trees on the property: oak, hickory, ash, sycamore, basswood or linden, elms, nut trees, haws, persimmon, and sassafras to name a few.
John passed away in 1926, but the White Spring Ranch has always remained in the family. What started as a curio collection has worked its way from the outbuildings meant to hold the artifacts, back into the house, which today is a museum packed with family and community memorabilia and items from John Lorang’s collection.
The White Spring Ranch is open to the public on Sunday and Tuesday afternoons, as well as by appointment. Each year the community looks forward to visiting the ranch for their annual ice cream social.
In July, 2020, the White Spring Ranch received the Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award, the highest honor given to an Idaho Museum, by the Idaho State Historical Society and the Idaho Humanities Council.