State Historic Preservation Office
Greg Pierce named new State Archaeologist

National Register of Historic Places


Boswell Ranch

Near Woods Landing, Wyoming

Date Added to Register

Thursday, July 21, 1977

Smithsonian Number

48AB133

Read all about it

Although its setting and architecture are not unique or on a grand scale, the Boswell Ranch is a typical Wyoming livestock operation. The Ranch was established sometime during or following 1868. An Albany County title abstract record reveals that the first entry was made for the Boswell property in 1878, and since that time the ranch has changed owners a number of times. The ranch is significant for its association with a citizen of regional importance in Western history, Nathaniel K. Boswell. Boswell was appointed Albany County Sheriff in 1869 by the first Wyoming Territorial Governor, John A. Campbell, and was later elected to that office three times. Boswell held other law enforcement positions and at one time or another is reported to have been a United States Marshal, chief of detectives of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association from 1883-1887, a Union Pacific Railroad detective, and an employee of Dave Cook’s Rocky Mountain Detective Agency. He also served as warden of the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary when that institution was opened in Laramie in 1873. Boswell’s interest in the Boswell Ranch dates from 1886 when he first acquired, with William H. Hill, a half-ownership in the ranch. The Ranch is also important as it relates to its location along a freight and stage route known as the North Park-Laramie Plains Road. Located about halfway between the towns of Walden and Laramie, the ranch served both freighters and stagecoach passengers. It was a road ranch, a place where horses were changed and where travelers spent the night.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources