With an entourage of four covered wagons and over thirteen-hundred head of burros, horses, and Angora goats, Stanton Brannin and his large family began a hazardous journey from New Mexico to Montana. Two years later in 1897, the Brannins filed a homestead claim on Sweet Grass Creek, stocking the ranch with their few surviving horses and goats. The Brannins added to the original claim as their thirteen children came of age. In the early 1920s, sons Gus, Dick, and Barney began a dude ranching enterprise. The main lodge, ten guest cabins, and other outbuildings of saddle notched logs were constructed by the Brannin brothers, neighbors, and friends over the next decade. Building materials were gathered from the ranch, and the fir used for floors and ceilings was planed at the family sawmill. Rustic style furnishings of burled wood were also crafted by the Brannin brothers. The Brannin Ranch offered city “dudes” splendid scenery, clear trout streams, and a rugged ranching experience. In the late 1930s, outfitting and guided hunts became a primary function. Today, guests can still experience “the West” during summer and hunt in autumn. Year round, the Sweet Grass Ranch operates as a cattle ranch and still uses the original “UX” brand.



Melville Route, Box 161, Melville, Montana ~ Private