Learn how the opening of Eaton’s Ranch in 1904 started the guest ranch industry

Back in 1879, three brothers, Howard, Willis, and Alden Eaton established their horse and cattle ranch near Medora, North Dakota. Their friends from the East began to visit them almost immediately.  Some of these early guests stayed for months at a time. Finally, one of the guests recognized the expense these extended visits entailed and prevailed upon the Eatons to charge for room and board, so “folks can stay as long as they like.” Thus, the family dude ranch business was born and an industry started.

In 1904, to provide a more suitable and varied riding terrain for their ever-growing number of guests, the Eatons “pulled up stakes” in North Dakota and moved to the present ranch location on Wolf Creek near Sheridan, Wyoming.

Eatons’ Family Dude Ranch has always been in the hands of the Eaton family and is now operated by the fourth and fifth generations of Eatons.