(Background Image) Properties West Inc. via Robb Report (Square Image) Ben Anson / YouTube
Founded in 1878, the ranch is located in Meeteetse, situated in the Bighorn Basin region.
While the ranch hit its peak in the early to mid-1900s, prospective buyers will discover a fully operational and seamless setup, poised to persist as a ranch with a capacity rated for 1,300 head of cattle.
The sale not only includes a fully operational business with essential facilities like the cow herd, feed, and equipment but also brings with it the esteemed reputation of the ranch, well-recognized both locally and statewide for its extensive facilities and expansive acreage. The property boasts top-notch working facilities, numerous barns, an orchard, and a yard fed by a spring. Additionally, there are eight residences, varying from quaint cottages to spacious houses, complemented by amenities such as a tennis court and a shooting range inhabited by mule deer, moose, whitetail deer, and grouse.
Photographer Charles Belden, recognized for his iconic images depicting life on the ranch and featured in national magazines from 1914 to 1940, later became a co-owner of the property. His legacy endures with his darkroom still intact in one of the ranch’s residences. Belden’s work garnered widespread acclaim, attracting notable personalities such as aviator Amelia Earhart, and actors Tim McCoy and Wallace Beery, who made visits to Pitchfork over the years.
“If a picture doesn’t tell a story, it’s not worth taking,” photographer Charles Belden told his granddaughter, according to wyohistory.org.
Today, the listing agent and ranch manager for the past four years, Ben Anson, told Cowboy State Daily that this will be only the third time in history that the ranch has changed hands.
“It used to be a lot bigger in the 1800s and early, early 1900s,” Anson said. “So now it’s kind of condensed down to about where the original homestead was.”
“Talk to anybody in the Bighorn Basin, and they all know where the Pitchfork is,” Anson added. “Talk to anyone around the state and they know where the Pitchfork is. So, a lot of people are connected to it. You know, they used to employ a ton of people through the early 1900s to the mid-1900s. So, it seems like everybody in the Bighorn Basin is a relative or some sort of connection.”
The property oversees approximately 7.5 miles of the Greybull River, known for hosting Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and offers unobstructed vistas of the Absaroka Mountain Range. The land remains a habitat for various endangered species, including the black-footed ferret, along with the presence of wolves and grizzly bears.
This ranch offers a rare opportunity to own a distinctive piece of not just Wyoming but also American history. The future proprietors can choose to restore the existing homes or build an entirely new ranch compound, providing the perfect canvas to bring their “Yellowstone” dreams to life.