Under Sharlot Hall’s supervision in the 1930s, this single-room dwelling was built to represent early ranch homes of the area. Miss Hall herself grew up on a nearby ranch and appreciated the barebones existence of those families who came to homestead in the mid-19th century. This structure was built by workers of the Works Progress Administration and, according to her, the Ranch House would be a tribute to the early ranchers in the area. She intended for it to house her collection of saddles, branding irons and other related artifacts.
Today, it has been restored. Since it does not have the environmental controls that would allow it to be used as an exhibits space for more sensitive artifacts, it has been furnished as the home of a local ranch family and used for school tours and Living History programming.
Although the earliest settlers to this area were mostly single men, families soon followed. Homes were built of the abundant Ponderosa pine trees. As time passed, milled lumber replaced hand-hewn logs, and ranch homes began to look less rustic. Most ranch houses had only a single multipurpose room. Cooking, sleeping, bathing and other indoor activities took place there. A fireplace was used for cooking and heating. Many families saved their money for such luxuries as a cast iron stove, glass windows and additional rooms.