NAME: Ewing
COUNTY: Carbon
CLIMATE: Cool winter and summer.
COMMENTS: Just north of Hulet. There are no residents here. The site was nick-named Rancher's Paradise by the first owner(E. Ewing), though nowadays, park rangers or historians would reffer to the place as the Ewing/Snell family Ranch historical site. This Ghost Ranch is only accessable by traveling North of Lovell,Wyoming on county road 37 to Barry's Landing inside the Bighorn canyon national recreation park. A historical marker for the site is clearly visible to the West when Northbound, a while after the Devil canyon overlook exit. The senery in the area is absolutely gorgeous, and as of December 2oo2, the main house is being transformed into the area's ranger outpost. Be shore to visit the pretty pond near the family house.
REMAINS: Well maintained buildings, atleast half-a-dozen, including the family house, stables, school building, a greay rond coral, and a couple of Chicken coops ot back.

Ewing and was abandoned over 60 years ago. It apparently had a post office, school, and grocery store.


In 1896, just five years after the Crow cession of 1,800,000 acres from the Western end of their reservation, Erastus T. Ewing entered the bighorn canyon searching for Gold. The Bald Mountain gold strike in the Bighorn Mountains had played out and some prospectors believed, or hoped, the un-touched canyons might contain a mother load! While some Gold was found and many claims were staked out, no big “Booms” were ever made in the Dryhead country.Most of the prospectors had left, but Ewing stayed and turned his hard-working efforts towards Ranching. He settled his family along Layout Creek, the first reliable source of water to be found in the area when entering from the south. Water was the key which allowed Ranching to exist. Ewing, as a married man, had three children. When Ewing died in 1904, his son, Lee W. Ewing increased the water rights to irrigate more farmland. Previously in 1903, Lee W. had owned another Ranch site further up the canyon, but sold it to “Doctor” G. Barry.After years of very successful crops, a man named Clint Hough of Bridger, Montana bought the Layout Creek Ranch from the Ewing family in the winter of 1910-11. Hough had to borrow money in order to make a living and provide food for his family. In 1920, deeply in debt, Hough sold out to Philip Snell, a young Rancher from Kane, whose father owned a successful Ranch establishment on Crooked Creek near Horseshoe Bend.In 1920 Philip Snell married Alma Wasson and they both moved to Layout Creek. Alma had originally moved into the Bighorn area in 1909, when her father James Wasson bought the George Berky Ranch property (later to become the Lockhart Ranch). In 1917 the Wassons moved into the big frame building by H.C. Lovell when James became the Foreman of the Mason and Lovell spread. Thus Alma Wasson-Snell has the distinction of having lived at three different Ranches that would later become historic sites within the present day recreation area.The Snells lived at Layout Creek for over thirty years. Four boys blessed the home: Rufus born in 1921, Cecil in 1923, Jim in 1934 and Ray in 1936. Alma Snell’s mother had prevailed on authorities to establish a school in 1916 about a half-mile north of their house. By the time Rufus and Cecil started school, there was a new school house three miles further north of the one attended by their Mother. When Jim and Ray started first grade, many homesteaders had moved out from the area further north and Mrs. Snell persuaded school officials to move the school to the Snell family Ranch.The log shop about 100 yards east of the main house thus turned into a one-room school. School was conducted here only during 1945-46 and 1946-47. Just five students attended: the Snell boys, and another student who, as well as the Teacher boarded with the family. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic were the main subjects. Some years school was reduced to a four month summer term.The Snells ran about 100 head of Cattle, and kept poultry even though the Bobcats and Coyotes took a heavy toll of their Chickens and Turkeys. On the land they irrigated from Layout Creek, they raised oats, wheat, and hay. They also had apple orchards and garden.Philip Snell sadly died in 1950. A year later Alma sold the Ranch but later came back into possession when the buyer had failed to make the payments. They then sold to E.E. Hanson in 1955. In 1964 Snell, who still had an interest, and Hanson sold to Clarence Magnus and Newell J. Sorenson. In 1968 Newell and Garnet Magnus Sorenson sold out to the United States Reclamation Service for inclusion in the Bighorn Canyon N.R.A.Recently, the National Park Service has used the Ranch as the Layout Creek Ranger Station. Unlike the other Ranch sites close by, Ewing-Snell has received regular care and maintenance. Various owners made improvements. While phone lines have never reached into the “Dryhead”, the house has heat, electricity, water, and indoor plumbing. Submitted by: Ryan J. Hill

Rancher's Paradise Drawing
Courtesy Ryan Hill

Courtesy Ryan Hill