Klondike Ranch, Buffalo, Wyoming
The Ranch – Rugged, Friendly & Unchanging
Klondike is an historic cattle ranch established in 1886. The ranch is nestled in the midst of the most unspoiled and beautiful country in America. Four times the size of Luxembourg, Johnson County, Wyoming, is home to just eight thousand people. This is the American West, as it once was – rugged, friendly and unchanging.
In the early days of the West, pioneers discovered the cool, cottonwood shaded stream which is now known as Crazy Woman Creek. They followed the creek to where it rushes forth from a deep canyon on the face of the Big Horns, found it good and settled there.
Years later the ranch site passed to a successful prospector of the famous Klondike Gold Rush and was renamed Klondike.
The Cattle Wars
The Johnson County Cattle War and battle at the TA Ranch occurred in April of 1892. The TA is only about 5 miles from Klondike, and I am sure that you could hear the rifle shots from here. I have not heard about any of Klondike’s landowners being directly involved. Frank Canton owned land just down the road from Klondike, about 3 miles. It is alleged that he was involved, probably directly, in the murder of John Tisdale. Click here for more.
Nine Quarter Circle Ranch, Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Over Half a Century of Hospitality
A long history echoes through the vast expanses of earth and sky and rocky mountain peaks around Nine Quarter Circle. From the ancient peoples who hunted here for centuries, to mountain man and member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition John Colter who explored Yellowstone more than 200 years ago, to the homesteaders who first settled the ranch in the late 1800s, countless stories played out here.
Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and began to attract visitors to this spectacular region. By 1912, the Butler family from Chicago consolidated those early homesteads to create Nine Quarter Circle, a working horse ranch ready to welcome travelers and introduce them to the ways of the West.
At 7,000 feet of elevation, surrounded by 2 million acres of wilderness, the ranch was then and still is an ideal place to experience a world of contrasts: solitude or camaraderie, outdoor adventures or quiet reflection, tiny wildflowers and big wildlife, spring-fed mountain streams and roaring blue-ribbon rivers. Click here for more information.
Triangle X Ranch, Moose, Wyoming
The 2016 season marks the 90th year of operation for the Triangle X Ranch. Five generations of Turners have called the ranch home.
John S. and Maytie Turner lived operated the Lost Creek Ranch outside of Morgan Utah, and occasionally during the early 1900’s they would take a fun vacation to Yellowstone National Park and a special place they loved, a relatively unknown valley called “Jackson Hole.” They would stay with some homesteading friends, the Meyers, who had a small ranch to the east side of the valley which a spectacular view of the Tetons and overlooked the Snake River.
During these early visits, the Turners’ love for Jackson Hole became stronger. One summer day John S. Turner once again walked to the river to fish from the Meyer homestead. As he came down a small draw carpeted with aspen trees and pines, he followed a small creek out into an open area the land sloped gently towards the river and the spectacular Teton Range. Nestled here was a small homestead owned by Bill Jump. Turner decided at that moment, at that spot, he wanted to move his family to Jackson Hole and build their home in this spot.
On July 6, 1926, he bought the property where now sits the Triangle X Ranch by paying twice what the owner had asked. Treating a man fairly was an unwritten code of the mountain west. That summer Turner came to the valley with his two sons, John C. andBert to begin building their new home. While the basement was being built, trees were felled and logs were pulled to the site. Upon completion of the basement the Turner men moved to the site to live in the underground room. That fall, the Triangle X Turners hosted their first guests, who were big game hunters. The hunters also stayed in the basement that first fall of service. In early winter, work continued and the large two story log home took shape.
During these early decades, there were no plowed roads in this area of the valley, so winters were long and isolated at the ranch. A trip to town usually consumed several days, requiring four days of round-trip travel in a canvas covered sleigh pulled by teams of horses and heated inside with a small wood stove. Since the small town of Jackson was a long trip on dirt roads the ranch was quite self-sufficient. Vegetables came from a large garden. Milk cows supplied milk, cream, and butter. In fact, during these early days, the Turners had a considerable surplus of milk which they sold to neighbors up and down this side of the Valley. The milk was put into metal cans which were taken to customers by mailman who passed the ranch each day. In the winter, the mail was delivered on sleighs with strong horse teams or dogs.
Because there was no electricity, wood supplied heat and kerosene lamps brought light to interiors. Refrigeration was provided by large chunks of ice that had been cut form nearby beaver ponds in the winter and stored in piles of sawdust to keep through the summer. A fresh meat supply was provided by the Turners’ cattle herd, chickens, and big game harvested in the fall. Surprisingly, most of these methods of supply continued through the 1940’s.
In the late 1920’s the ranch property was sold by the Turners to the Snake River Land Company. This company was represented to be a group of wealthy easterners who wanted to invest in the cattle and hunting business. Later it became known that this entity was representing the Rockefeller family who wanted to secretly buy up much of the valley of Jackson Hole for preservation purposes. This revelation began more than two decades of bitter controversy, stretching the valley to Washington D.C.
As his parents and siblings moved off the ranch and started other ranches around the valley, John C. Turner continued to operate the Triangle X as a working dude ranch. In 1931 he had the opportunity to guide a young lady on an elk hunt who had moved to Jackson Hole earlier with her father, a retired mining engineer, Harold T Mapes. John C. Turner and Louise Mapes were married in 1935. John and Louise had three sons: Harold, John, and Donald. Click here for more information.
Sylvan Dale Ranch, Loveland, Colorado
Sylvan Dale History – In the Beginning
Sylvan Dale Ranch has a rich history. In the early 1900’s, Mr. and Mrs. Frend Neville owned a small cattle ranch at the mouth of the Big Thompson River. Wealthy doctors from Saint Louis came to the area to hunt deer and liked it so much they wanted to bring their families. The Nevilles then built some cabins and a lodge along the river and planted apple trees in the yard.
Years later, the facilities were sold to Cotner College, a Christian Church school in Lincoln, Nebraska. But during the depression of the ’30s, Cotner College closed and Sylvan Dale was leased out as a youth camp. Maurice Jessup, then a college kid in Oklahoma, overheard a conversation about the Ranch and asked for a summer job there. He hitchhiked to Loveland and caught a ride from town with the mail carrier. He was overwhelmed with the beauty of the mountains and the rushing water and immediately told Camp Director JB Weldon, “You know, I just love this place. Someday I’m going to own Sylvan Dale.” That was in 1934.
Twelve years later, the Ranch was for sale and Maurice Jessup was in the Army. He received special permission to go and bid on the property. After scratching his bid on a piece of paper, he and his wife Mayme “Tillie” were awarded the 125 acre run-down property. The Ranch remains in the Jessup family and continues to enchant people from near and far.
Through a lifetime of hopes and dreams solidly based on faith, dedication, and hard work, the Jessups and their two children, David and Susan, increased the 125 acre ranch to a 3,200 acre working guest ranch. The Big Thompson flood of 1976 threatened to put an end to the dream, but reconstruction efforts were successful and what was once a summer guest ranch became a year ’round facility.
The future of Sylvan Dale remains with the Jessup Family and so do the rich traditions of its past. Sylvan Dale’s history adds up to a deeply-rooted sense of belonging. You can taste it in the hot buttered biscuits–light as a feather, in the distant cry of the coyote, the soft sound of the wind in the pines, and mostly in the warm western welcome that still rings true, “Pull up a chair, join our family table. Rest…Relax…Enjoy.” This is what life is all about…Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. Click here for more information.