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Bar B C History

historic panorama
A view of the central campus. The building to the distant right is the main lodge. This view of the lodge  is taken from the same angle as that in the header above. This perspective  is looking northwest from the recreation hall across the swimming hole towards the Teton Range in the background. Note the bridge that crossed the swimming hole as well as the  two smaller buildings connected by a fence with a ranch gate between them.

The Ranch
Established in 1912 by Struthers Burt and Horace Carncross, the Bar BC Dude Ranch is the oldest extant dude ranchs in Wyoming and possibly in the United States. It is nestled on the flood plain between the Snake River and Teton Park Road to take full advantage of the vistas of the Teton Range. Created by its owners to include cabins, recreational buildings, a pool, corral, and fencing, the site was intentionally set up to offer paying customers the opportunity to socialize as well as enjoy the great outdoors.
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A party in the recreation hall often included costumes.
At its peak, the site had thirty-six major structures, plus additional out-buildings. These structures were made from local materials in a rustic style and simple floor plan often referred to as "Dude Ranch Vernacular". Most had a cobblestone chimney at one end with simple interior decoration and  furnishings. While the amenities were intentionally "rustic", frills were included in the facility such as the recreation hall which was the site of many raucous parties, the store which also served up late breakfasts for those who may have over indulged the night before, and a swimming pond for swimming and bathing. The swimming hole was created by water that had been diverted from Cottonwood Creek. Dug by hand, a gulch ran across the top plain of the land above the ranch and fed the facility with both water for the swimming hole as well as another luxury, power, created by a small hydro electric generator.
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A copy of Struthers Burt's influential memoirs which was first published in 1924.
Along with managing the facility, Struthers Burt, A Philadelphia native, was also a recognized author. His books included Diary of a Dude Wrangler, which gave a face to much of the dude ranch myth and persona. Burt's wife, Katherine Newlin Burt was also an author who wrote western novels, several of which were turned into silent films including Snowblind from 1921
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Current Perspective
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The Corse Cabin, in its current condition, is leaning in many places and struggles with heavy overgrowth as well as a very leaky roof.

While the ranch has remained unused since its last resident died in
1988, its significance to the area has remained profound. Grand Teton National Park was originally developed as a "natural" park and the original intent was to remove these few vestiges of human intervention within the park's borders once the last owners had relinguished their rights to the sites, allowing the land within the borders of the Park to serve solely as a wild landscape. In the recent past, a new and more progressive perspective has allowed the Park to recognize the historical importance that a site like the Bar-B-C Dude Rance has played in the history of the Snake River Valley as well as the park's overall "cultural" significance to the area.
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Although some cabins are in severe condition, many of them still retain good integrity.
Among the first "dude" ranches in the region, the Bar-B-C was one of the most important establishments of its kind in the Northwest and represents a type of "entertainment" which was truely unique to American culture. Nowhere else in the United States could a person find a higher concentration of dude ranches than within the limits of Grand Teton National Park. No fewer than five dude ranches can still be seen within the park itself, many of which have been, or currently are being restored to interpretively serve both the park and its visitors.
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The main lodge has suffered more than other buildings due to its size. This view shows where a fireplace has been removed and the opening has been logged in.
While some of the dude ranches within the park have been completely restored and serve as working and living facilities for research teams within the park, functionality can be defined in a wide variety of ways and the concept of "vacant but standing" is actively being applied to the Bar-B C. In many ways functioning as  a "ghost town" the visitor experience to the Bar-B-C is a unique one within the park, offering an opportunity to quietly commune with the site and its structures and sense the fleeting nature of these once ubiquitous and influential types of cultural "American recreation".
Promotional photograph from The California Theater to promote the
screening of Catherine Newlin Burt's  "Snowblind," for the week of June 12th, 1921.