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“That’s a Cattle Baron if I have Seen One!”

Grant-Kohrs Ranch - National Historic Site
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Wide open spaces, the hard-working cowboy, his spirited cow pony, and vast herds of cattle are among the strongest symbols of the American West. Once the headquarters of a 10 million acre cattle empire, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site preserves these symbols and commemorates the role of cattlemen in American history.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
1,534 reviews
719 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 953 helpful votes
“That’s a Cattle Baron if I have Seen One!”
Reviewed August 28, 2013

Johnny Grant was a metis (French Canadian Indian). Eventually he ends up in Montana Territory and he realizes that you are either a Trader or a Trapper. He goes for Trader and marries several conveninet (understand Chief’s daughters) wives, actually eight of them (32 or 26 children, depending on who tells you the story) and does a lot of trading with the Indians. When South Western Montana becomes too crowded for him (1866) he sells out to a Conrad Cohrs, Dutch emigrant.

Cohrs creates a cattle empire in Montana but by the time all holdings pass in the hands of the third generation, things, as usual, start going South… The Ranch becomes property of the National Park Service in 1986 and the Park Service now operates it as a “working ranch”, or so the brochures tell you.

If you are interested in history, you should visit. But don’t get your hopes too high: we were told that there were 300 heads of cattle but only saw some horses in a near-by field. The tour of the house is interesting, it gives an idea of how luxuriously wealthy cattle barons lived in those times, but photography is not allowed anywhere with the lousy explanation that “people don’t know how to shut off their flash”… The tour takes about 45 minutes. You can walk on your own on the property outside the house, there are several historical photographs and a time line in a barn. The “cowboys” were all overweight rangers and one of them, seeing me take pictures of him and his horse, hurries to give me a business card with California address…
But then, you get what you paid for: nothing. Yep, that’s right, it’s all free, including the coffee you get at the chuck wagon.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Oliver S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Upstate New York
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Unique National Park Unit”
Reviewed August 20, 2013

We stopped in for a short time to visit this Historic Site. We took the house tour and even though the volunteer was relatively new to the site she did a good job explaining the history of the families that created this ranch. We didn't spend any time going through the outbuildings but it looked like there is a lot to see here. Outside of the house there was a volunteer creating and sewing brands to make a display piece for the site. It looked like a nice activity for kids.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank KB231blue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tonasket, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Interesting, just like being back home”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

Since we're farmers, we didn't see much that was new to us but appreciated that they had preserved what was once a big working ranch. Must be really interesting to "city folk".

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Interesting visit”
Reviewed August 6, 2013

The Grant-Kohrs Ranch is a very interesting site to visit. Because of the different ranger talks, you really learn a lot about life on a ranch and about the life of the real 'cowboys'. The house is beautifully kept and historically interesting. When in this neighbourhood, it is more than worth a visit!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Albert047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“active historical site - takes you back to cattle empires of the West”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Just north of the small town of Deer Lodge you can almost miss the sign for this National Historic site. Even as you enter the parking lot, it doesn't look like much. But stay with it.
Visit the ranger house and the walk under the railroad bridge into another era. Be sure to arrange for a tour of the home. It is a working ranch so something is always going on. check out their website to find out special events.
Our guide, Janet Snider, a retired librarian, led us through the fascinating lives of this ranch and the families who lived there.
It would be a good visit for almost any age.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank muskratroadtroupe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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