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
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.
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,
U-Tube video (linked).
Next page: Wolfers.