Historic Ranch Land is now Officially State Park Property

(Gillette, Wyo.) The LX Bar Ranch has stood vacant for over forty years. But the site is an important piece of Campbell County History -- built by the Stanton-Howard Livestock Company in the late 1800s and sold to Wyoming cattle king John B. Kendrick at the turn of the 20th century. By the time Kendrick's remodel of the ranch was completed in 1910, it was an example of luxury in its time. A five-room main house, heated chicken coop, and multiple ranch buildings around the property that were constructed with thick sandstone. The buildings still don't have electricity, but Kendrick was heard to have said it was his favorite out of all the ranches he owned. On Wednesday, June 1st, that land was transferred to the Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails Department in a ceremony in downtown Gillette. "There is no place like this anywhere," said former Representative Greg Blikre, who helped pass the legislation to preserve the site. The hope is that the ranch will be designated as a Wyoming State Park -- the first state park in Campbell County. Historical preservation begins with $280,000 set aside by the State Legislature to help repair masonry, windows, and prep the site for visitors. But total renovations could add up to millions more by the time its ready for tourists. [image: 13308665_1330931560269376_4515906492869696764_o.jpg] "This is a very proud moment for the state," said Milward Simpson, State Parks Director. "We are so proud we now have the opportunity to preserve and tell this amazing Wyoming story. It's such a crucial story for Wyoming." Kendrick is described as embodying what it means to be a Wyomingite. The most vibrant part of the early cattle industry was here in Campbell County with Kendrick's Cattle Company. County Commissioners and the State Parks Department are hoping that focusing on other aspects of Northeast Wyoming's history, like the LX Bar Ranch, will boost tourism and interest in the region. "We don't have a lot of resources for preserving historic sites," added Simpson. "But the opportunity we had here was one every legislator understood." The land was purchased by music producer Jim Guercio in 1992 to prevent the ranch houses and barns from being torn down for their sandstone blocks. He donated it for free to the state of Wyoming, as long as they endeavor to preserve it. "Kendrick was an amazing guy," said Guercio today at the ceremony. "I'm very proud for the people of Wyoming. I think this is going to be the best existing ranch headquarters in the West." *Photo h/t Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, & Trails Department* #county17 #news