The Mouat, Langston…and Laurence Era

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Jim and Ellen Langston, Bill Mouat and John Mouat purchased Beartooth Ranch from Ed Ikerman in 1955.  Ellen tells me that they made their first payment in the fall of 1955 and their first season was in 1956. She said that her Uncle Willy told them that there was a possibility that Ed may want to sell.  She called the Executive Secretary at the Dude Ranchers Association which at the time was in Bilings.  The Executive Secretary also mentioned the possibility that Ed was looking to sell.  She said they did not set out to run a dude ranch, but her Uncle Willy Mouat who had familiarity with the Stillwater Valley, urged them to buy, in fact he was "very suggestive" of the idea.  

Jim and Ellen at the time had one son, James, who was 3 at the time of the purchase.  He attended school at the Stillwater Mine until the 5th grade.  At that time he attended school in Nye.  Ellen tells me that the mine school sat where the chrome pile sat for many decades.  Not sure where Rad, son number two, attended school...more history to come!

At some time around the early 60's, Bill Mouat sold his share to my parents, Roger and Josie Laurence.  My family started going to the ranch around 1960.  Their friend, Paul Soderlind a NWA pilot from Minnesota, urged them to go to this amazing dude ranch in the Beartooth Mountains.  My dad had roots in Montana and due to his love of the outdoors and hunting, he was hooked!  They bought in and helped run the ranch until its sale to Anaconda Mining Company in 1979.  My brother and sister and I spent our summers working at Beartooth, it was an amazing place for kids to be.  It is what made me the person I am today.

Please visit the "photos" page to see actual brochures from this era!



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