National Register of Historic Places

HF Bar Ranch

Northwest of Buffalo

Date Added to Register

Wednesday, November 07, 1984

Smithsonian Number


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Located in north central Wyoming 20 miles northwest of Buffalo nestled into the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains, the HF Bar Ranch is a working cattle/dude ranch complex consisting of 36 buildings predominately of rustic frame and log construction built primarily between 1898 and 1921. Wyoming state senator and U. S. congressman, Frank Horton, with the financial backing and capital of his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Chicago investment banker, Warren Gorrell and his wife Demia Gorrell, purchased the 1890s homestead in 1911. Warren and Demia Gorrell and their four children spent most of their summers at the HF Bar Ranch between 1911 and 1929. While the Gorrells continued to reside principally in Chicago, the Horton family lived year-round in Wyoming, as Frank Horton managed the day-to-day operations of the Ranch. Throughout this period, Warren and Demia Gorrell continued as the major stockholders, financial backers and supporters of the HF Bar. With the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Warren and Demia Gorrell sold their shares in the HF Bar Ranch, and associates of Frank Horton purchased them. The HF Bar Ranch is significant as an intact example of a working dude ranch in continuous use for nearly 100 years. It is one of the best remaining representatives of similar operations which flourished during peak years of the cattle ranching frontier, then turned to dude ranching in the face of economic difficulties. The ranch is associated with the state and locally significant tourist industry which brought wealthy easterners and Europeans to the West. Their influence subsequently enriched the social, intellectual, cultural and economic climate of the entire region.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources