The Ed Ikerman Era

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Ed IkermanEd Ikerman, was born in Eldora, Iowa.  In 1917, Ed came to Billings to visit a sister and a nephew, Merle Fagg, and got his first look at the Beartooth Mountains.  He fell in love with the place and bought the property from Byron and Cora Wood.  Ed Ikerman, pictured here with Sioux Charlie Lake and Cathedral Mountain in the background, established Beartooth Ranch in 1922.  He initially ran it as a boys dude ranch. He took out an ad saying “A camp characteristic of the Great West. Membership limited to twenty boys. Twenty one day horseback trip to Grasshopper Glacier, Cooke City, and through Yellowstone Park over the unbeaten trail. Intensive physical training, horsemanship, roping and mountain hiking. Edward J. Ikerman, Director”  It later turned into a full scale dude ranch with horseback riding, volleyball, handball, swimming and elaborate pack trips into the mountains.  His guest list included people from all over the world, some of them plenty famous.  Among them were, John D. Rockafeller, Jr. and his sons,  Henry DeWulf Smythe of the Atomic Energy Commission, the noted mountain climbers, Robert and Miriam Underhill, the sons of Gilbert LaGarce, president of the National Geographic society, and clay Saunders, Jr., who's dad started Piggly Wiggly; and numerous artists, photographers, doctors and scientists even some millionaires, many of whom returned year after year.

In 1955, the Beartooth Ranch was sold to the Langston and Mouat family and Mr and Mrs Ikerman moved to Scottsdale, Arizona.  Ed returned every summer and continued taking people on pack trips through the Stillwater uplands.  

Please visit the "photos" page to see actual brochures from the Ed Ikerman Era!   

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