HILLSBORO

NAME: Hillsboro
COUNTY: Bighorn
ROADS: 4WD
GRID: 4
CLIMATE: Warm summers, cold winters.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Early summer, the weather is nice.
COMMENTS: This is well worth the journey, the scenery and drive is great.Located north of Lovell, Wyoming on County road 37 just south of Barry's Landing. make shore to check out barry'Landing, and an old motor boat built at the Ghost town.
REMAINS: At least ten brilliant buildings to see.
About 1903, Grosvener W. Barry chanced upon Trail Creek valley in the Bighorn canyon, Montana, and liked what he saw. After deciding to stay, he built a cabin and several other structures from the dead timbers on one side of the Canyon. Apparently years before Barry ventured to Montana, a desperately hungry Prospector had set a large fire to get a Rattlesnake, but the fire became out of hand and burnt into a blaze. Barry’s wife Edith and Claude St.John, Edith’s son from a previous marriage, joined him.Barry, Born in Quakertown near New York City liked to call himself “Doctor”, but whether he was ever a medical doctor remains a mystery. He was a true promoter and headstrong businessman. Over the years, his schemes to extract gold from the Bighorn canyon placer deposits led to the formation of three gold mining companies: Hidden Canyon Gold Mining, Big Horn Gold Dredging, and Gold Creek Consolidated Dredging Companies. Stock was sold in the first two of these companies and enough money was raised by the second to purchase, ship, and assemble a huge dredge on the Bighorn River at the mouth of Trail Creek. The dredge never recovered enough Gold to even pay for its operation.Barry turned his land and homestead into a Dude Ranch where he bred and sold English hackneys as the Embar Horse Company. To advertise the wonders of his Ranch, now called Cedarvale (the name “Cedarvale” was derived from the number of Cedar trees situated within the Valley, or “Vale”), Barry circulated brochures proclaiming his Ranch as: The Sportsman’s paradise of America: “The ranch lies in a beautiful valley between the Bighorn and Pryor Mountains, this valley being divided by the canyon of the Bighorn River. The Ranch house is far removed from the environments of civilization, but it is thoroughly modernized, being electrically lighted throughout. The bountiful and well-prepared table is supplied from our extensive gardens, and fresh meat is available at all times due to the large ice plant we operate. We have the typical stock Ranch of the west. The hunting and fishing is remarkable. Parents can send their children here where there are no bad influences. The Ranch is easy of access by our high- powered motorboats, the only power boats on The Bighorn River. Those who have made the entire boat trip through the canyon pronounce it to be the finest and the only trip of its kind. Ascending the River is sublime and coming down is positively thrilling. Camping trios in the fine mountain scenery of a few days or as long as one cares to stay bring rest, relaxation, peace and comfort.”The boats built at the nearby Barry’s landing were built by Barry and Eddy Hulbert - an adopted boy who Barry brought with him to Montana. To publicize Cedarvale and the Barry boats, Claude St.John and a neighbor, Bert Smith, started downstream on May 31st, 1913 in the sixteen foot, motorized boat, christened Edith. On June 3rd they entered the Yellowstone and four days later, the Missouri. They entered the Mississippi on July 15th and on August 1st they reached New Orleans. Claude’s Uncle sold the boat the next day, but it had proven its sturdiness. Years later, four boats, presumably the Flirt, the Reliance, the Mistral and Barry’s favorite, the Exeter, unfortunately slipped beneath the rising waters of Bighorn Lake. The Hillmont, saved from this watery grave, is now on display near the boat ramp at Barry’s Landing. Eddy Hulbert, adopted son of Grosvener W. Barry later became a very successful silver – blacksmith. He was very skilled at constructing Horseshoes.A post office was established at the newly named Hillsboro in 1915. Barry was appointed the postmaster at Hillsboro. With exodus of Homesteaders during World War II, the post office was unwillingly forced to close down in 1945.Records record court cases and other instances in which Barry refused to pay for the shipping of mining equipment, saddlery and other ranch equipment, boat motors or employees’ salaries. Some got paid some did not. Throw in a few neighbor feuds, some of them violent, and you have one of the more colorful Dryhead characters.Edith Barry operated the successful Dude Ranch for many years after Barry’s death in 1920. The main house burnt down in the winter of 1947-48. The St.Johns added to their three-room cabin the next spring. Later that home also burnt down. During his later years, Claude turned to cattle and horse ranching. The days when Dudes were put up was something only reminisced about. Grosvener W. Barry enjoys the distinction of being the first person to recognize and exploit the recreation potential of the Bighorn Canyon. [email protected] Submitted by: Ryan J. Hill


The old corral and Horse stables at Hillsboro, Montana.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


The first Post office in the Dryhead.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


The Dude cabin and Blacksmith's shop.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


Chicken Coop.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


Inside the Forgery.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


A view of the Milk House, Hulbert's cabin, and the smaller coop.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


The Root cellar.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


The Cedar Vale.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


Map of Hillsboro.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


A drawing of the Hillman on Barry's Landing, by Ryan Hill.
Courtesy Ryan Hill


A big welcome to the state of Montana!
Courtesy Ryan Hill


The corral at Hillsboro.
Ryan Hill


The short-lived Post Office at Hillsboro.
Ryan Hill


Through the gate, and into the Ranch.
Ryan Hill


Another shot of the Chicken Coop.
Ryan Hill


A view through the Trees.
Ryan Hill


Hulbert's cabin, and the smaller of the two coops.
Ryan Hill


Over the foot-bridge, you'll find the dank & smelly root cellar. Made of stone, and roofed with beams and earth, the root cellar was used to keep the Ranch's food-stores cool.
Ryan Hill


About to leave, looking towards the gate.
Ryan Hill

 BACK