The objects displayed here are all original to the White Grass Ranch’s decades of operation as a dude ranch. They have been graciously donated to the White Grass Heritage Project as part of our mission to protect and preserve the history of White Grass. The objects below are a sample of items that have “Come Home to White Grass.” If you have a piece of White Grass that you’d like reunited with the ranch, Get Involved. These objects are all housed at the White Grass Ranch and are view able to the public upon appointment or request.
An original White Grass saddle and bridle that were sold at the ranch auction in 1985. The ranch brand, H Quarter Circle B, is visible on the rear of the saddle. The H and B stand for Harold Hammond and George Tucker Bispham, the first owners/operators of White Grass. The saddle was part of a private collection and displayed at the Rusty Parrot Lodge in Jackson, WY. The White Grass Heritage Project received this gift in July, 2017 from Ron and Sandy Harrison. The saddle pictured sits upon an original saddle rack from the White Grass barn. The rack was gifted in 2016 by Jon Gerster Jr. who dismantled the barn in 1990.
Frank Galey’s Chaps
Frank Galey wore these chaps on the ranch dating back to the 1940s. In 1983, he hired Rebecca Matthews (age 19) as a wrangler. Not having the proper gear, she bought a $2.00 pair of used boots in Jackson and Frank gave her his chaps. Rebecca first came to White Grass as an infant with her parents, Jay and Judith Matthews and her grandmother, Sukie Matthews. She returned many summers thereafter as dude and wrangler. Rebecca gifted the chaps back to the ranch in 2017.
Bells like this were traditionally hung around the neck of the lead horses as they were let free to graze overnight in the mountains behind White Grass. In the predawn hours, wranglers located several groups of horses in the mountain meadows by listening for the sound of the bells. Once found, the horses were herded to the ranch and prepared for the dudes’ daily horse rides. While it is unclear whether this bell ever hung around a horse’s neck, it was once owned by Frank Galey who gave it to his friend, Mary Jane Hansen, who then gave it to Carolyn Allen, a former dude at the ranch. Carolyn gifted it to the White Grass collection in 2014.
Animal mounts hung for decades at White Grass in the Main Cabin dining room until the ranch closed in 1985. This moose mount was purchased at the ranch auction in 1985 by John Mortensen, a Jackson local. According to Mortensen, this moose mount, and others original to the ranch, were created by original owner/operator Harold Hammond, who possessed taxidermy skills. Hammond died in 1939, leaving the ranch to his stepson, Frank Galey. John and Pam Mortensen, who previously worked at White Grass, gifted the mount back to White Grass in 2017.
In the early 1990’s, a former White Grass cabin girl from 1957, Sharon Crary Griffin, found several artifacts in the rubble where the White Grass barn once stood. She created a display, entered it in the 1992 Teton Country Fair and won a blue ribbon. The display contains the names of three horses, a photo of the barn, ten saddle block numbers (location numbers where each saddle was hung in the barn), Uinta and Sheridan beer cans, a container for chalk (for a blackboard to tell wranglers what saddle goes on which horse), a horse shoe, some barbed wire, a chain, and a door latch. Sharon Crary Griffin gave the display to Norm and Carole Hofley, who had re-erected the White Grass Barn in Wilson, WY in 1998. The display was gifted by Carole and Norm Hofley in 2015.
Dining Room Chairs
Bob Lewis built these Main Cabin dining room chairs and many others with the White Grass H Quarter Circle B brand on the backs. Bob worked at the ranch and was a local craftsman who did his woodwork mostly during the winter. Many of these chairs were sold at the ranch auction in 1985. Deborah Lopez, a former dude, gifted two of them to the White Grass Collection in 2014.
This White Grass saddle was used at the ranch for many years and sold at auction in 1985. During the dude ranch era, it was likely assigned to adolescents and small women because of its relatively small size and high cantle at the back of the saddle seat. On the backside of the cantle is an attached metal tag with the H Quarter Circle B brand and #24. The saddle was gifted in 2016 by former White Grass staff, John and Pam Mortensen.
The wooden poles for this bench were originally interior walls for horse stalls in the White Grass barn. The barn was disassembled in 1990, and reconstructed by Carole and Norm Hofley in 1998 in Wilson, Wyoming. The Hofleys made benches out of the old stalls, modeling them after benches used at White Grass. Gifted by Carole and Norm Hofley in 2016.
Karin Gottlieb found this metal cut-out in the rubble after a fired destroyed the Messler cabin at the north end of the ranch. Karin was a ‘dining room girl’ in 1964 and winter caretaker at the ranch in 1967 and 1978. The metal piece may have been attached to a fireplace screen. White Grass Ranch fireplace screens were usually western-themed and crafted by a local artist. Gifted by Karin Gottlieb in 2014.
This belt buckle with the ‘H Quarter Circle B’ brand in the center were designed by Jackson Hole resident, Jack Burnham, and created for the participants at the White Grass Reunion in 2000. Jack once worked at the JY Ranch and White Grass. Former dude and kid wrangler, Judith Allyn Schmitt, gifted her buckle in 2017.