Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Swett Ranch Historic Site


We saw a sign for this historic site and decided to check it out. Really beautiful scenery.

Swett Ranch is on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of an early pioneer homestead and a ranch that was one of the last claims in the Homesteading Act of 1862. It is situated in the Uinta Mountains and is 1.2 miles off of Highway 191 on a narrow, one-lane dirt road.



Oscar Swett homesteaded the family’s original claim in 1909. Their first home was a one-room cabin where Oscar and his wife Emma lived with their three children.


The five of them slept together in this single bed which was nothing more than a shallow box filled with straw and covered with blankets.


When their fourth daughter was born in 1919, Oscar build a two-room log cabin. Spaces between the logs were chinked with mud and the inside walls of the bedroom were papered with pages from magazines.





In 1929 Oscar and his family built a three bedroom house complete with kitchen and living room. Since at this time, they now had nine children, a larger home was a necessity.



The card above the phone says that they had a telephone before they had electricity or plumbing in the house. They also were the only people in the area with a phone and they could only call the operator in Dutch John.


Oscar didn’t think it was right “to have a bathroom inside the house.” So when he finally gave into the pressure of his wife and children, he built the new bathroom in the big white house so that it opened out onto the porch.

Some recipes that Emma used to use.


DSCN3630This is a creamer that Emma used to separate the cream from the milk in order to make butter.

Oscar worked this ranch with horse powered equipment even through the 40's, noting that "horses don't break down and require a mechanic."

I love it when we find these wonderful hidden gems. The view of the Uinta Mountains from the ranch is incredible.



  1. I am amazed they had 9 children when they only had one bed.

    1. Only because they had one bed they had 9 children....

  2. I thought the same as joeh. Well maybe they sent all the children outside.

  3. Did you share with us that this is a new route for y'all? You are finding the neatest places to explore. I love having history come alive like this.

  4. My kids found it hard to believe that we only had one bathroom in the house! Can you imagine having to share one with 1 people not to mention the bedrooms! I've been in the

    1. Darn phone! Uinta Mountains or was it Ouaschita Mountains. Having a devil of a time with this comment. I loved going into the old homesteads out west. I have special memories of one in particular--Custer in Idaho. Very interesting. Your descriptions are always so interesting, Sandie. High to Jim. Did you get the new trailer. I planned on catching up on my reading, but just got a call from my son--he's on his way over here with two young veterans who he is running an event for. Maybe later. Pats from Bogey to the pups!

  5. How fun!!! I felt like I was visiting "Little House on the Prairie"! Love , love, love history of any kind..Thanks for the tour!

  6. And to think we complain about our queen sized beds and it's just the two of us! :cD

  7. Pretty interesting but like a few others here 9 kids and everyone slept in the same bed. Still what a neat place.

  8. My Mom was raised in a log house similar to that and slept in a bed of straw.Remember her telling about the snow blowing in between the logs and covering the bed at night.Just the way it was back then.

  9. Neat blog about out of the way places. I find these lessor known historic sites very interesting.

  10. What an interesting look at the past, anther fun day you had.

  11. You are sure hitting a lot of sites on your way north. I wonder if they ever figured out what was causing all of those kids to come along.

  12. Love the history, looks to be a fun place to visit and explore. Gotta love the guys attitude..."horses don't break down and require a mechanic."

  13. We will have to visit this. Bill's kind of history.

  14. What an incredible slice of history!! I love history!! Makes me so appreciative of our beds!! That was a bunch in that one bed. Glad Oscar was finally able to get a 3 bedroom house. Great history great tour!!

  15. A family of five living in one room sharing the one bed. They would have done fine in an RV. :)

  16. Nine kids - that poor woman. Funny how most of the comments were about the bed. From what you wrote, it looks like they had three bedrooms, therefore at least three beds, by the time they had all nine.

  17. What fun for sure! Aren't you glad you don't have to share your bed with five people! Heck, we complain now!

  18. You are sure hitting a lot of sites on your way north. I wonder if they ever figured out what was causing all of those kids to come along.

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Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.