HISTORY OF THE RANCH
Our ranch is located in southwest Montana, an area with some of the most colorful western history. Our grandfather, Peck Tate, homesteaded this valley in 1910. He came to Montana to train horses, a tradition we continue today. My father, Bill Tate, is a great historian and helps us keep our history alive. There are a number of old homesteads still creaking under the Montana Big Sky.
Documented evidence shows that prior to European settlement in the west the Crow, Shoshone, Snake and Bannock peoples where the original discoverers of this area. Suitably located in a narrow canyon, the land served as a large Native American summer camp. Morning winds would sweep through the canyon, drying meat and leaving an affable amount of snow during winter.
By the mid-19th century gold had been discovered in Alder Gulch, thus Virginia City was virtually born overnight. This newly booming city thrived as a territorial capital and a means of justice for the surrounding areas. The self-proclaimed authority of the region, known as the Vigilantes, was formed in the mid-1860s. During this time the Vigilantes hung 24 men in southwestern Montana, some right near our ranch. Today Virginia City guests can visit former mining camps and mining museums, plus an opportunity to even pan for gold. The excitement of visiting Virginia City lies in what has been left behind from its unique past, and many original buildings still standing.
Dillon, Montana, a short distance from our ranch, was visited by Lewis and Clark in August 1805. Sacagawea recognized this part of Montana as her resident land. The Corps of Discovery Captains named this area Camp Fortunate because the Shoshones agreed to help them cross the Rocky Mountains.
With so much history and wonderful uniqueness of southwestern Montana, don’t you think it’s time to join us on a journey to the past?