Ranching is a lot of hard work with very long hours and very little pay.
I can't begin to count the number of people who believe you are wealthy just because you live on a big ranch! Well, wealthy we are... but not in money! We are wealthy in a good wholesome earthy lifestyle. We are rich in scenery & wildlife! So in a way I suppose you could say we are wealthy.
Over the next few pages I will try to give you a good understanding of what it takes to be a rancher.
I have had people tell me when they retire they want to become a rancher, because all they have to do is sit back & watch the cows grow! That's very funny! Boy are they in for a surprise!
After they retire & become a rancher, they will find they will work longer hours, work harder than they ever did in their life, and get paid next to nothing for it.
It's not a life one can just decide to do. It has to be in your blood. It has to be a way of life. You have to embrace it!
Before I go on to the actual ranching end of our life I want to share a little history with you of our home. I think you will find it very interesting indeed!
We live in a house that is roughly 140 - 150 years old.At one time a man by the name of Jim Winters lived here. He & John Curry got into a gunfight over a woman. Winters shot & killed John Curry.
John Curry was the brother of the notorious outlaw, Kid Curry. Well, Kid Curry didn't take to kindly to Winters killing his brother so he showed up here one very snowy winter day. Kid Curry gut-shot Winters on our front porch while he was brushing his teeth, & left him there to die.
A neighbor showed up & found Winters laying in the footpath in front of the house & loaded him up in a buckboard to take him to Chinook to a doctor. Chinook is an hour & a half drive by today's standards! Winter's died on the way.
He & John Curry are both buried on this place, though on opposite sides of a ridge. They are both buried less than a mile from our house.
To this day it is well known in this area that the ghost of Jim Winters still haunts this old house, though so far he hasn't tried to shoot anyone else!
Another famous person that lived in our home was Ruth Phillips.
She was the first woman senator for the state of Montana, and this was her home.
In addition to Jim Winters still haunting our halls, we are also frequently visited by two members of the Phillips family.
Mr. Phillips stops in once in a while, dressed in the tuxedo he was buried in. His son Ben, who was killed by a horse in the barn, also shows up once in a while.
Locally we are known as a haunted area from our house to miles around. Many a dark night it is known for people to see a shadowy rider on his horse along highway 191, next to Rock Creek. Footsteps in the hallways of many homes when no-one is there, is so commonplace in these parts that no one really pays it any mind anymore! We have gotten used to it & we do warn our guests that they shouldn't be surprised or frightened of bumps in the night!