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When our family moved to Marble Mountain Guest Ranch (then Young’s Ranch Resort) in 1994, the prior owners had sold off many of the ranch artifacts and historical items.   From the moment we arrived, I have had a longing to preserve the history of the Somes Bar area, and of this guest ranch in particular.   Locating photographs, first-hand anecdotes, and published documents has been difficult to say the least, and I remain largely frustrated in my efforts. Every once in a while though, some little miracle gifts me a piece of ranch history.

This year we have struggled with ongoing infrastructure failures and upgrade needs on the ranch, and one of the largest projects was trenching and placing new PVC water lines to replace all the old and rusted buried iron piping. In the process of the digs, we have discovered several trash burial sites.

Before the completion of the Highway 96, and before there was a trash pick-up business available, ranch residents would burn or bury collected piles of refuse. All this unwanted “stuff” now randomly works to the surface in surprising places like pastures, cabin yards, or old out-house sites. The nice thing about this is that we get occasional connects to our predecessors with remnants of their trash.  I doubt that the old-timers imagined that their junk could become our treasures and historical relics. Check out this grouping of bottles the we unearthed in the process of trenching for our new PVC water line this summer:


dude ranch artifacts

Junk from Marble Mountain Ranch predecessors that becomes modern treasure and historical relic.

I doubt there is much monetary value or relevant data I can draw from this trash, but the bottles, old shoe parts, equipment pieces and the like do a fine job of keeping my appetite for region specific history active and alive. I feel grateful to all those who have preceded me in this life style and region, for the foundational work they have done that makes my life here possible.


Doug Cole

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