Dude Ranching

From Wyoming Tales and Trails

This page: The Eaton Brothers move to Wolf Creek, Wyomming.

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Table of Contents
About This Site

Main Gate, Eaton Brothers Ranch, undated

As noted on the previous page, in 1904, the Eatons sold the Custer Trail Ranch and moved to Wolf Creek, Wyoming, west of Sheridan. There they built new facilities. The new location had the advantage that it was more scenic and with the completion of the railroad, a shorter distance for the tours of Yellowstone which had become an annual event. Horses, wagons, and gear were moved via railroad to Yellowstone for the ranch's guests.

Eaton Bronters' Mess Wagon, 1912

Initially the brothers each acquired property as homestead, but with cash purchases, the ranch ultimately expanded to some 7,500 acres. Although the ranch continued to raise cattle and horses, its primary function was, as the brothers liked to call it, a "vacation ranch."

Cover, Eatons Advertising Brochure, Library of Congress image.

First Cabins at Eatons', 1904

The cabins became one side of a double-line of cabins known as the "Pike."

The Pike, approx. 1916

Other facilities including necessary barns, main house, corrals, dining hall which could seat over 150, and a hall for indoor activities were constructed as the facility grew.

View of barns Eaton Brothers Ranch, undated

On the left is the horse barn, behind it are the corrals. At the right in the photo, behind the corrals is the cow barn.

View of barns, Eaton Brothers Ranch, undated.

In this slightly newer photo, the saddle shed is the extension to the right off the main part of the horse barn. Ot is right is the pack shed. In the distance at the foot of the hill marked by a line of trees is Wolf Creek. Pack trains were an important part of the experience offered by the ranch. In addition to the trips to Yellowstone discussed on the next page, the ranch offered ten day camping trips in the Big Horns out of the ranch.

Left: Willis Eaton leading pack train along Wolf Creek, undated
Right: Pack Team, Eaton Brothers Ranch, 1930's

View of cabins, approx. 1930.

By 1930, the Eaton Brothers Ranch had reputedly become the largest and most famous dude ranch in the country.

Main House Eaton Brothers Ranch, undated.

,Rear of Main House, approx. 1930.

Originally, the Main House had seven rooms for guests. To the right of the Main House behind the small white building is the dining hall and kitchen. The original dining hall and other main buildings burned in February 1927. The fire which started from a broken stovepipe caused an estimated $50,000 (1927 dollars) damages to the ranch facilities.

Next Page: Eaton Brothers' Ranch contined.