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Big Sky in Gallatin County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

B-K (B Bar K) Ranch

 
 
B-K (B bar K) Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 26, 2021
1. B-K (B bar K) Ranch Marker
Inscription.  Eastern clients visited dude ranches for authentically western experiences in complete comfort or, as one rancher put it, “home-made bedsteads but forty-pound mattresses.” The B Bar K was no exception. Wealthy Chicagoan J. Fred Butler bought the ranch from homesteader Clarence Lytle in 1927. The historic irrigation ditches, a spring house, fence lines, and horse trails are all that remain of Lytle’s original 1910s homestead. Butler and his daughter and son-in-law, Florence and Don Kilbourne, named the property the B Bar K. The families spent some $110,000 (over $1 million in today’s currency) on their summer playground. Trees felled nearby provided logs for the Rustic style buildings, designed to fit an idealized vision of the West. Native stone fireplaces further reinforced a connection to the surrounding wilderness. Florence decorated the cabins with Navajo rugs, Indian beadwork, and hand-crafted furniture, while the bathrooms were “supplied with everything from hot water to shower caps.” A business downturn led the Kilbournes to take paying guests. They were among 150 Montana dude ranchers operating during the Great Depression. Although
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some impoverished ranchers opened their homes to guests, many dude ranches were run by transplanted Easterners, like the Butler/Kilbourne family, who could anticipate the expectations of their wealthy visitors. After 1947, the ranch briefly became a boy’s camp, and then headquarters for a logging operation. In 1955, Jack and Elaine Hume purchased the property, renaming it Lone Mountain Ranch. Owners today continue in the long-standing tradition, offering a magical combination of comfortable accommodations and outdoor recreation.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 45° 16.612′ N, 111° 19.485′ W. Marker is in Big Sky, Montana, in Gallatin County. Marker is on Lone Mountain Ranch Road near Lone Mountain Trail, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 750 Lone Mountain Ranch Road, Big Sky MT 59716, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to the Historic Crail Ranch (approx. 1½ miles away); Crail Ranch Buildings (approx. 1½ miles away); The Historic Crail Ranch - West View
B-K (B Bar K) Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 26, 2021
2. B-K (B Bar K) Ranch Marker
(approx. 1½ miles away); The Historic Crail Ranch - North View (approx. 1½ miles away); The Historic Crail Ranch - South View (approx. 1½ miles away); The Historic Crail Ranch - East View (approx. 1½ miles away); Crail Ranch (approx. 1.7 miles away); Lone Mountain (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Big Sky.
 
B-K (B Bar K) Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 26, 2021
3. B-K (B Bar K) Ranch Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 26, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 26, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Mar. 1, 2024