There are a lot of things we here at 320 Guest Ranch love about this country we call home. But, there happens to be one thing in particular we love best. That is the steadfast pride all Americans hold in this nation’s historical heritage. The people of the good ol’ US of A appreciate our founding history so much that we even take days like today, Columbus Day 2020, to commemorate it. Alongside today’s commemoration of national history, we also wanted to take a paragraph or two to venerate the 320 Ranch’s heritage which began over one-hundred years ago…
It was the year 1898, and Sam Wilson and his father, Clinton, claimed two adjoining 160 acre plots in Gallatin Gateway, MT. These became the “Buffalo Horn Resort”. A little less than 4 decades following the Wilson’s transformation of a once homestead into a guest resort, Dr. Caroline McGill came on scene. It was 1936 when McGill purchased the ranch from the Wilson family. She was an enigma for her time, and is exactly who we want to honor on this day for remembering those who’ve played the part of founder, and did so with influential determination. Over the years, the Doctor actually initiated the beginnings of what would later be used by others to commemorate her. By that, we refer to an extensive collection of antiques McGill acquired from all around the state of Montana. In fact, a portion of this vintage collection still resides at the 320 Ranch. Her love for remnants of time past has remained one of the greatest values held by today’s owners.
In August of 1956, McGill transmuted her antique collection into a small museum housed on the Montana State University campus. It wasn’t even a full ten years following that when Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies picked up a number of McGill’s artifacts. This led Bozeman residents of the time to begin referring to the Museum as “The McGill Museum”. Thirty-nine years after McGill passed, Museum of the Rockies further commemorated the Doctor by opening an exhibit dedicated solely to her artifact collection and life. She was moreover memorialized when a part of the 320 Ranch’s collection was donated to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bovey. This was done in order to assist in their restoration efforts of two historic mining towns – Virginia City and Nevada City, MT (now popular tourist attractions).
The 320 Guest Ranch’s heritage is one we cannot help but to be proud of. From the founding days when the Wilsons began this chronicle of our naissance and evolution, we have grown from an original capacity of twenty guests to over two-hundred. Yet, this development has and never will negate the essence of what it was like in those early days. Even now, 320 Ranch’s accommodations and overall objectives continue to be inspired by the people who were important pieces in our historical puzzle. It’s quite something that a humble homestead could be molded into the 320 Guest Ranch as it exists now. And, as we are now is as we hope to remain even when we become a part of a history commemorated by generations to come.
Written by Lauren Peyton