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Pines End Ranch

Page history last edited by Clint Gilchrist 8 years, 11 months ago

History of Pines End Ranch

By Judi Myers, 2009

In 1901 James Sweeney applied for a homestead patent on land 2 miles south of Pinedale where Pine Creek empties into the New Fork River. This parcel of land was sold to JC Clark who, in 1942, sold it to Dewey Bakes. It was named Pines End Ranch because the pine trees, which lined the banks of the stream to this point, ceased on this piece of land. It is also known as the Maytag Ranch for that family’s many years of ownership. In 2009 Questar Exploration & Production (oil & gas) Company purchased the last parcel of this ranch, just over 200 acres, along the east side of Pine Creek.

 

Julian Clark, JC’s grandson, spent part of his youth on the ranch. He recalls, "Grandfather always told the story of a guy coming down the creek, fishing. Grandfather wanted him off the property and told him so. The man said, ‘You don’t own the water’. Grandfather replied, ‘No. But I own the banks and unless you want to become Jesus and walk on top, you’d better leave!’ He did."

 

Julian’s parents were Chauncey & Mary Clark. His mother was in the eggs & butter business. He said, "She milked 6 cows. We had chickens in summer and planted wheat for them. Mother got tired of delivering eggs and milk and sold the dairy interest in 1940. At that time there were 2 houses on the ranch. Grandmother and grandfather lived in a log house with regular roofing. It later became Dewey & Mary Bakes’s house. I am sure it was designed by Grandmother as it was exactly like our house west of town and she designed that one. My parents and I lived in the log house with a dirt roof. I would get on that roof and mother would tell me to ‘Get down!’ I’d answer, ‘But how can I play Superman if I don’t get up here’?

"After Grandfather sold the ranch to Dewey Bakes he found out that Bakes was just a front man for Maytags. He always fussed about it afterwards. He thought he was selling to an individual. I remember him saying ‘Dewey Bakes is no rancher’! The ranch became a fishing resort for Maytags. It has many good fishing holes."

 

Although old-timers refer to it as ‘Maytag’s Pines End Ranch’, the Warranty Deed remained in Bakes’s name until 1959 when it was transferred to Lewis Bergman (Bud) Maytag, Sr. Bakes and Maytag held a friendship. In 1943 Dewey and Mary Bakes’s daughter, Barbara, was married in Maytag’s hometown of Colorado Springs, and the Maytags hosted the wedding dinner. In 1946 Mr. & Mrs. Maytag attended Cecelia Bakes’s wedding in California.

 

Owner or manager, Dewey Bakes became a part of Pinedale life. He and Elton Cooley developed one of the first subdivisions in the county, just off Pole Creek Road. CB Lane is named for Cooley & Bakes and the next road east is Bakes Lane in Bakes Subdivision. Dewey was born in 1898, was a WWI veteran and married Mary Russell of Almy, WY in 1918. In 1924 he moved to Kemmerer where he was an insurance salesman. Dewey and Mary had 2 daughters: Barbara Bakes (Thomas) Suttner and Cecelia Bakes (Wright) Hiatt. Dewey and Mary’s red, plush chaise lounge is at the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney.

 

Being on the ranch allowed Dewey to raise horses. Paul Hagenstein, a neighbor to the south, recalls, "Bakes was a horse trader. When I was in high school, Bucky Neeley and I broke horses for Dewey for $5/day plus room & board. Dewey would take the horses to Ogden. We’d ride them into the arena and show ‘em. One day I had a dappled grey. It was just green broke. I rode him in and he went to the middle and just planted all four feet. I let him sit for awhile & then nudged him and he walked all around the arena and we got $125 for him. That was 1943 or 44.

 

"Another time I went to Beaver, UT with Dewey. We went out one morning and he began dickering with a fellow over 2 horses. Dewey paid $75 for the yearling and $125 for the 2-year-old. We loaded them up and went to Brigham City and he told these guys that he’d raised them himself down on his ranch in AZ. He got $200 for the yearling and $300 for the 2-year-old. And he’d only owned them overnight! He had the gift to gab. But, you know, if there was a widow or an old cowboy who needed to sell a horse or a cow, Dewey would buy them for fair market value. He took a whipping sometimes, buying them."

 

Dewey purchased 2 registered quarter horse mares and 1 stallion in 1947. In 1949 his mare Miss CeeCee won the Intermountain Futurity Race for 2-year-olds. After receiving the $1500, Dewey sold her. In 1951 one of his mares, Melody, who won a Grand Champ in Ogden, was destroyed in a racetrack fire in Phoenix.

 

Paul recalled, "Dewey had one horse he thought was the most wonderful horse in the world. The ranch has a bridge across Pine Creek and there’s a low spot right by it - always has water in it. One day Dewey was riding this horse and he bucked him off into that water and then put one foot on Dewey’s back and another on his arm. Dewey was a big man, but he couldn’t get up. He was blowing air and couldn’t move. We just happened to be coming along and had to jump down and get that horse off his back or he would have drowned. I wouldn’t have given 2 cents for that horse." Dewey’s granddaughter, Niki Willott, remembers that horse as a pet named ‘Pal’. Dewey also dealt with some ornery cattle. Paul tells about the time Dewey was loading a bull that stopped halfway into the truck & refused to move. "Dewey got a shovelful of fresh cow manure and threw it into that wide, bellerin’ mouth. That bull jumped right into the truck."

 

Doc Tom Johnston also remembers Dewey’s horse-buying. "Dewey used to provide rough stock for the rodeos. Mickey McKnight rode broncs for him. They’d go around to different ranches to look at horses and Mickey would try them out. He had some code to tell Dewey which ones to buy. One summer Dewey had a kid working for him who had an FFA or 4-H cow. Dewey told the kid he needed a good bull and lent him one of their Herefords for the summer. Another time Ned Cody had to sell his cows, so Dewey said he’d buy them, but Cody didn’t want to pay the transfer fee. Instead, he sold Dewey his brand and, of course, you own the cows that have your brand. The brand was a backwards letter ‘h’ with a curly thing on top. It was an early, original brand from Johnson County, Wy and Tommy Johnston has it now for his Red Angus cattle." Julie Early said another brand the Maytags had was BAD which stood for Bud and Dewey.

 

Dewey also did some horse packing into the mountains. Donna Sievers said, "Dewey was friends with Wallace Beery, the star of old Westerns. Beery would come out to the Maytag Ranch and Dewey took him on pack trips. Dewey was quite the joker and had a jolly good sense of humor. One time he was up in the mountains with Wallace and they drew straws to see who had to get up in the morning to make coffee. They also had a rule that the first to complain had to do all the cooking. Well, Dewey drew the short straw and was getting tired of making the coffee every day, so he put a horse apple in the morning brew. Wallace took a sip and said, "This coffee tastes like horse poop…..but it’s good!"

 

Dewey always drove Chryslers. Bette Hagenstein said, "Dewey bought 2 goats to run with his horses so the horses wouldn’t get distemper. That was a belief back then. One day Dewey looked out and both of the goats were on top of his Chrysler! He didn’t have them very long. A stoplight used to hang at the intersection of Pine and Tyler in Pinedale. In 1960 Dewey, in a 1960 Chrysler, accidentally ran the red light, had a wreck and died from his injuries.

 

After Dewey’s death, his wife, Mary – known as Mimi to her grandchildren – was allowed to live on the ranch. Mary was a small, petite woman. Her friend Donna Sievers remembers, "Mary was dignified, fastidious and never had a hair ruffled. She was fussy. She’d pack her suitcase with tissue paper around the sides, even around her clothes. We traveled together a lot. She’d tell stories about how hard up her family was when she was a child. She told me that she and her brother would have an egg yolk for breakfast and the white for lunch.

 

"Mary loved to play cards and gamble. She was Scotch and had a cute little ditty she’d always sing after she got in her cups. ‘Oh, I’m full! Full! Absolutely full!/and I adore the country I was born in/My name is Jock McGraw/and I dinna care a straw/For I’ve somethin’ in the bottle for the mornin’. She was a fun person to be around, a charming and smart lady. But she couldn’t drive very well. I was behind her once and she drove right up the middle of Pine Street!"

 

The Maytag name has legally been on the deed to Pines End Ranch from 1959-2009. Dewey’s friend, Lewis Bergman, L.B. ‘Bud’ Maytag (1888-1967) was the son of Frederick L Maytag, the founder of the Maytag Washing Machine Company. Bud was president of the company from 1921-1926 and on the Board of Directors from 1941- 1966. He and his wife, Catherine, had 4 children: Lewis, Jr, James, David (who retained the interest in Pines End Ranch) and Catherine (Edborg). Bud and his family lived in Colorado Springs, CO and vacationed on the Pinedale ranch. He was one of the founders of Augusta National Golf Club and showed champion bird dogs at field trials.

 

Dewey and Mimi’s grandchildren enjoyed vacationing at Pines End Ranch in the late 1950s. A teenage girl from Pinedale would come out and give them riding lessons. Bakes’s granddaughter, Niki Hiatt Willott, remembers "When Bud Maytag was coming we would go over to his cabin to clean up the flies and get it ready. Then, his plane would ‘buzz’ the ranch so we would know to go pick him up at the airport. A couple of times I got to go up in his small plane. He was always nice to me and I remember he ate the same thing for lunch everyday – Spanish peanuts and a beer. He came to the ranch to fish – he loved fly fishing."

 

Bud’s grandson, David, Jr said, "I have wonderful childhood memories of the ranch. My father taught me how to fly fish, ride horses, drive tractors, drive cars, shoot shotguns and rifles – all before I was a teenager." David, Jr, who is now VP of Helio Aircraft in Prescott, added, "he even taught me how to fly his Commander jet there." When David, Jr was visiting the ranch as a child John Weinard was the manager. David said, "John would leave voids in the haystacks so Patty (his sister) and I could crawl into them and make forts! I can’t imagine why we didn’t get crushed. My father would hunt antelope and sage hens when he could, but fly fishing was the main attraction. He was good at it. He would always catch the most and the biggest."

 

Everyone who remembers the Maytags has said that they were private and retiring. One neighbor said, "We met the Maytags as neighbors, but not socially. Our dog was the social one. Our German Shepherd always watched for Bud’s red Jeep and went fishing with him." Another said, "We were just over-the-fence neighbors. The only time they called was when the power went off or a dog strayed." Another person said of David, Sr "We golfed and went out to dinner, but I didn’t really know him."

 

The ranch, with access to both Pine Creek and New Fork River was purchased as a fishing retreat and one acquaintance added, "and he didn’t let anyone else fish there!" Another said, "I think the managers were there just to watch to see that nobody fished on the river. Bud moved fences to accommodate the fishing holes. There’s probably not a good fenceline on that whole place." Dr. Johnston remembered when some of his doctor friends snuck onto the ranch and Dewey caught them. "He marched them into town at the front end of a pistol. They called Dewey, ‘The Knight of the Maytag Castle’."

 

After Dewey Bakes died, John Weinard was the manager. From 1995-2006 Julie Early was the caretaker. She remembers the Maytags coming to the ranch to ‘get out of the heat’ and staying most of the summer. "David, Sr was a good pilot and traveled the world. The house was full of African mounts." The county records show 3 houses on the property: a 3000 sq ft residence built in 1973, a small house built in 1944 and another built in 1919.

 

Like his father, David, Sr was also known as a private person. Both Maytags, however, had a generous nature. Paul Hagenstein said, "There were a lot of things Maytags did that no one else knew about. They helped others and didn’t want anyone to know about it." One item that made the papers was Bud’s purchase of a new, fully-equipped ambulance for Pinedale in 1951. Bud also offered to build a hospital in Pinedale, but resistance forced the project to be dropped.

 

Doc Johnston remembers when a premature baby was having trouble breathing. "The ambulance had to go clear out Horse Creek and kept me informed by radio. They kept the baby alive by pumping air into his lungs all the way to the clinic. I didn’t know David Maytag, but I’d seen his airplane at the airport, so I called him. I told him who I was and about the baby and he said, ‘I’ll meet you in 10 minutes’. He flew us to Salt Lake and the resident who met our plane was aghast at our primitive method with a bottle of oxygen. But it saved that child’s life. I found out later that the baby’s brain wasn’t mature enough for our altitude. The mother and baby were fine. David Maytag is a hero. We forged a friendship of sorts. We’d see each other on the street and we’d both smile and nod."

 

Former airport manager, Ken Konicek, remembers, "David Maytag flew a Rockwell Commander Turbo Prop. It’s a high end, small jet. David rented a hanger and paid a flat amount, even though he might only use it 1 or 2 days/month. I think he just rented it by the month to help support our fixed-base operation. He’d go out of his way to be nice. He was a great person."

 

David, Jr said, "My father loved that ranch and the wildlife on it. He liked to go on walks or drives along the river just to see what he could see. One time he ‘adopted’ a mule deer fawn and had it for a year or more. They took Skeek back and forth to California on the airplane! My sister would race Skeek but as he grew up Patty realized what a futile challenge she had made. My father rescued a sparrow hawk and raised it to maturity. He also raised a great horned owl named Charlie who would come by the house at night for a treat or sit on a fence post to watch us fish. We had deer, ducks, eagles, osprey and moose. My father always called the ranch ‘home’ and as he was losing his fight with cancer he asked that his ashes be put in Pine Creek." David, Sr’s headstone (1934 – 2003) now rests there on the banks of Pine Creek.

 

Pines End Ranch was originally over 800 acres in size. When David, Sr was still alive, he sold more than 500 acres on the east side of Hwy 191 to Mike Fenn and 100 acres on the west side of the river to Cliff Burg. David, Jr said that his father wanted him to have the place after he was gone, but the paperwork was never done. The property passed to his step-mother, Betty, who sold all ranch interests to Questar. David, Jr said, "I always figured I’d live there someday. I had hoped to teach my children all the things my father taught me. The sadness I feel from losing the place is beyond description. The ranch was not sold because of any lack of interest by the Maytags."

 

Pine Creek runs through the ranch. It is a braided stream, creating innumerable islands and hiding holes for fish. The Maytags have nurtured, guarded and protected the fish and wildlife on their ranch for over 60 years. It is a unique piece of Sublette County history. As Paul Hagenstein said, "Maytag’s Pines End Ranch is part of one of the most beautiful drainages in Wyoming."

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