It’s Labor Day 2020 – a day to commemorate the hardworking people who make each day at the 320 Guest Ranch run smoothly, as well as a day to tip our hats to the hardworking people of this great country. Labor Day was originally founded not for the purpose of backyard BBQ parties and street parades; instead, it was the labor movement of the late 19thcentury which made this three-day weekend a reality. During this time, the members of the American working class were fighting for their rights to more fair-minded labor laws and humane working hours. Thanks to them, the holiday was federally recognized in 1894, and to this day remains an acknowledgement of the impact and successes of American workers. And, for many throughout the country, it’s a day to signify the end of summer and the beginning of fall.
The 320 Ranchsaw its legacy of hardworking folks begin when Sam Wilson homesteaded 160 acres along the Gallatin River in 1898. Being that this was a mere four years after the very first Labor Day holiday ever in history, Wilson got to see his hard work recognized the first Monday of September in that initial year of homesteading. Then came Sam’s father, Clinton Wilson, who claimed the bordering 160 acres which he and his son combined with Sam’s 160 (hence the 320ranch) and proudly dubbed this combined acreage the Buffalo Horn Resort. From then on ensued the history of how the 320 Guest Ranch came to be what exists here and now.
From then till now, however, what it takes to run a Montana guest ranch has evolved just a little bit. Put plainly – it takes a lot. At 320, everything begins with a long list of managerial staff including an Operations Manager, Wedding Sales Manager, Dining Room Manager, Sales Manager, Executive Chef, Head of Horse Operations, Maintenance Manager, Executive Housekeeping, Front Office Supervisor, etc. This list then extends to the crew who work for those managerial roles, which only goes to prove that it really does take a village to raise a ranch! When asked what their favorite part of being a member of the ranch family was, the staff answered with great favor by responding that their favorite part was “That we all share a love for Montana, we get to be a part of the history that has such deep American roots, and that this team embodies the saying, ‘family isn’t always blood’.”
Running a Montana guest ranch is no slice of cake, but hard work can be quite fulfilling despite being far from easy. On a ranch, days begin early and are physically demanding. For horse ranches like ours, that statement is especially true. Horses are a lifestyle, not a hobby. But what makes all the long days of hard work worthwhile is not just being recognized for it on Labor Day; it’s that every morning greets a ranch worker with the knowledge that he or she has an undeniable, set purpose that day. And working in one of the most beautiful places in America, if not the world, is not such a bad deal either. So, from the 320 Guest Ranch to all of our hardworking employees and to all the hardworking Americans who labor alongside us each day, we take our hats off to you this wonderful 2020 Labor Day. We hope you’ve all had a happy three-day weekend, and look forward to seeing you in the coming fall season!