I wrote the following article for the park website. This is my original draft of the article.
The ranch house at Peaceful Valley Ranch is the only original ranch house remaining in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Today’s visitors might drop in to Peaceful Valley for a guided horseback ride, which has been a popular activity there since the activity was first offered in 1918. The Peaceful Valley Ranch site has seen countless guests and many of residents in its lifetime. Like any historic site, the Peaceful Valley Ranch has seen its share of residents and guests coming and going, has undergone changes that reflect the changing needs of its occupants, and stands as a tangible reminder of a bygone era.
22-year-old Benjamin Lamb, whose wealthy Boston family bankrolled his western venture, purchased the rights to the land from Lebo in 1885 and built the original buildings of the modern Peaceful Valley Ranch around that time, though accounts vary on precisely the year they were built. Lamb built the original barn, blacksmith shop, and house on the site. The original ranch house was a simple 58’ x 22’ two-story structure. The attic space was accessible from the outside by a ladder on the east side of the house.
Peaceful Valley Ranch is an enduring reminder of the open range cattle ranching era in the 1880s and of the golden age of dude ranching. Though other structures on the site have come and gone, and the ranch house has been expanded and renovated at times in its life, the ranch property is remarkably intact and a rare reminder of the architecture of the period in which it was built. Three of the buildings, including the ranch house, are included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Peaceful Valley Ranch model in Google Earth
Peaceful Valley Ranch Extended Narrative History