This week I’m catching up on some of the events that happened here over the summer. As a Magistrate Judge, Paul had a wedding to officiate at the TA Ranch and invited me to go along. I didn’t take any photos of the wedding itself, since I didn’t know the couple, but I did want to share some photos of the barn itself.
This was the center of a real-live, old-west shoot-out in 1892. Their website describes it in this way:
When you escape to the TA Ranch at Buffalo, Wyoming you are surrounded by the history of the old west. At the crossroads of the Indian wars of the late 1800’s to the trail through the Ranch of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, to the infamous Johnson County Range War of movie fame of “Shane” and “The Virginian,” it’s all here.
1883 TA Barn and Ranch House, occupied by Cattle Baron invaders in the April 1892 three day shoot-out at the Ranch, are today preserved and used on a daily basis by our guests and Ranch hands.
In the cold spring of 1892, a battle pitching homesteading ranchers against the might of the Cattle Barons who had controlled the open range and their hired gunmen in the area reached its peak. After Baron assassins killed rancher Jones and rancher Tisdale in December 1891 near the Ranch, the Barons and their gunmen set out to eliminate any threat to their control of the Powder River Range by invading the area in April 1892, hunting down and eliminating the homesteading rancher “rustlers” and community public officials and leaders, deemed “rustlers” by such association.
These hunters quickly became the hunted. An angry posse of hundreds of Johnson County residents/ranchers got wind of the plan and surrounded the invaders at their refuge at the TA Ranch. So began the climactic battle of the famous Johnson County War–a conflict which pitched cowboy and neighbor against the Barons and their gunmen, a western episode that continues to intrigue western historians to this day. You may have seen filmed versions of the events by the History Channel of American television in recent years, all done at the TA Ranch and its historic properties.
In this photo Paul is looking for the bullet holes left in the barn at the time of the invasion.
They’re not hard to spot.
To get the fully story, though, you need to read about the Johnson County War itself; a great account of it is given here. The photos are great, too.
We stepped inside the barn and I could imagine what it must have felt like inside this building with a whole town of angry people ready to burn it down.
The wedding was held outdoors and was nice–the bride arrived by horse-drawn wagon, Paul did a great job, the reception and food was nice, and everyone was ready for a good time of celebration at the original site of the 1892 Johnson County Invasion.