Dude Ranching

From Wyoming Tales and Trails

This page: The Eaton Brothers' Ranch continued.

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About This Site

Howard Hall.

At the Eaton Brothers Ranch, Howard Hall provided a large space for indoor events such as dances. As noted in the next photo, Howard Hall provided a good viewing spot for riding demonstrations and other events intended to entertain guests.

Riding demonstration by "Curly" in front of Howard Hall, undated..

Not widthstanding, the death of Howard and the death of Willis in May of 1929, the ranch continued to grow as Alden's son Bill Eaton and Bill's wife Patty assumed management.

The ranch reached its peak number of guests in 1929. That year, Eaton Brothers acquired the Rimrock Ranch near Rimrock, Arizona, from well-known western composer, Romaine Loudermilk. Loudermilk wrote, among others, "Blood on the Saddle" and the "Big Corral", as well as the music for Strawberry Roan. Loudermilk continued to operate the nearby Soda Springs Ranch. The Rimrock provided winter vacations between December 1 and mid-April of each year.

The Rimrock Ranch, approx. 1930.

Undoubtedly, the Depression levelled off the number of guests during the 1930's. In 1938, the Rimrock was sold to Ralph C. Schegel and Honora Wood Schlegal who had been members of the Eaton Brothers' operating staff. War.

Bill and Patty Eaton.

Bill Eaton demonstrating roping skills.

The last of the original three Eaton Brothers, Alden, died in 1937. To some extent, the Eaton Brothers's ranch, still family owned, has also remained as a working ranch, although small in number of head, as it had from the beginning.

Cattle on Eaton Brothers' Ranch.

Branding in the Corral, Eaton Brothers' Ranch, undated.

Horses, Eaton Brothers' Ranch, undated.

The Eaton Brothers' Ranch is not only the oldest dude ranch in the country. It is the original dude ranch. Prior to the invention of dude ranching by the Eaton Brothers there were guides and outfitters such as Jim Bridger who outfitted hunting parties. but it was the Eaton Brothers and in particular Howard Eaton who evolved from stockgrowing to outfitting and putting those two elements into the idea of a vacation ranch. Dude ranches have evolved from working ranches so that today some have conference centers and golf courses. A year or so prior to the present writing (November 2012), the question of a particular dude ranch in Wyoming arose. An individual to whom the writer was stated that he had worked there in summers when he was in college. The vision of the individual working as a wrangler arose in the writer's mind. He had worked as a wine steward. Today,the Eaton Brothers ranch continues. The beginning of "season," June 1st, is marked by the bringing in of the horses.

Bringing in the Horses, Eaton's Ranch, U-Tube video (linked).

Next page: Wolfers.