Crook County, Wyoming
Design Team: Kurt Dubbe, AIA; John Fabian
Built in 1932 as a summer retreat for millionaire publisher Moses Annenberg, Ranch A lies in a beautiful canyon in the Black Hills of northeast Wyoming. The limpid waters of Sand Creek flow past the door of the eight-bedroom lodge, the log guest cabins and the spacious horse barn amid pines, spruce and cottonwoods in a pastoral setting
Acquired by local ranchers after Annenberg’s death in 1941, Ranch A was used as a dude ranch and a supper club. Taken over by the U.S. government in 1963, the Ranch was the site of Fish and Wildlife Service hatcheries and laboratories. Over the years the Ranch fell into disrepair and suffered from a lack of all but the most minimal upkeep and maintenance. In the late 1980’s it became apparent that unless something was done soon, this significant part of Wyoming history would be lost to the ages.
Ranch A is now owned by the State of Wyoming and is managed by the Ranch A Restoration Foundation. A not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Ranch A, it operates the ranch as an educational facility, providing a headquarters for field geology students from area colleges and universities, and as a conference center for a variety of public and private educational meetings, seminars and retreats. Extensive work is currently underway to arrest the deterioration of the facilities and to stabilize them against further loss. Plans are being formulated to create additional lodging space to accommodate larger groups, and to create a strategy for insuring the Ranch’s future.