Guest Ranches

In the years between the wars, another trend in Cariboo-Chilcotin ranching was the addition of tourist facilities. Many ranches opened resorts and hunting lodges in order to supplement their income from ranching. One of the first ranches to take advantage of the increased tourist traffic was the old Mountain House, first established by Phillip Grinder on the River Trail in 1868. In 1921 it was operated by Harry Coldwell, who had renamed it Jesmond after his home in England.

A photograph of the TH Ranch lodge at Hanceville in the Chilcotin. Click to enlarge,
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TH Ranch Lodge, Hanceville. Courtesy of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin.

In that year, Coldwell constructed a lodge to house summer guests at the ranch, and he eventually added a hunting camp and other amenities to accommodate the tourist trade. Not long after, the Pollard Ranch north of Clinton opened one of the first guest ranches in the Cariboo. During the summer months, the Pollard's Three Bar Ranch offered visitors a real ranching experience and, in the fall and early winter, the Pollard sons guided hunters into the nearby hills. These early successes led to the establishment of many dude ranches and tourist facilities throughout the ranching region of the Cariboo-Chilcotin. This added source of income was particularly beneficial in the more remote areas where ranching was tenuous, and it started a trend that continues to this day.

Media Files

V1989:85/001.03 – Legend of the West – 1956 “Dude Ranch”
1950s travelogue about dude ranches in the BC Interior

A flash player with a video showing a 1950s travelogue about dude ranches in the BC Interior.

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