Grant-Kohrs Ranch

National Historic Landmark

The buildings on the Grant-Kohrs Ranch chronicle the history of cattle ranching in the American West. French Canadian rancher Johnny Grant began wintering cattle in Montana’s Deer Lodge Valley in the 1850s and found success selling livestock to the Idaho and California gold camps. In 1862, he built a spacious, two-story home for his large Métis family near present-day Deer Lodge. German butcher Conrad Kohrs purchased Grant’s ranch in 1866. Kohrs—in partnership with his younger, half-brother John Bielenberg—soon built a cattle empire, grazing enormous herds on 10 million acres of open range across four states and Canada. Kohrs focused on the business and politics of cattle ranching, serving as both a territorial and state senator and president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. Always “out in the field,” Bielenberg excelled at breeding and became known for his Shorthorn and Hereford cattle and Thoroughbred and draft horses. Many pieces of antique farm equipment and dozens of well-preserved outbuildings dating from the 1860s to the early 1900s still illustrate their vast cattle operation. The ranch house, lavishly expanded with a brick addition and decorated in the Victorian style by Kohrs’ wife Augusta, reflects the family’s success and status. In 1929, Kohrs’ grandson Conrad Warren became ranch manager and in 1940, with his wife Nell, purchased the ranch. They focused on two things: the livestock industry and historic preservation. The Warrens’ preservation efforts left behind an unmatched record of America's western cattle ranching history. The ranch, which the Warrens sold to the National Park Service, was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and opened to the public as a National Historic Site in 1977.

Images

Map

266 Warren Ln, Deer Lodge, MT 59722 ~ Public, National Park Service operated historic site