El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

jueves, 13 de junio de 2013

El rancho de Struthers Burt, una versión romántica del vaquero del oeste


Princeton-educated Struthers Burt was a popular writer whose book, The Diary of a Dude Wrangler, inspired a whole new generation of dude ranchers. Burt was originally opposed to the creation of a national park in Jackson Hole. However, by the 1920s, Burt used his power of the pen in national publications to lobby for the protection of the scenic qualities of Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum.

Struthers Burt graduated from Princeton University in 1904. In 1908 he moved to Wyoming and founded the JY Ranch with Louis Joy. This ranch ultimately became the famous Rockefeller Ranch of the same name (the JY). In 1912, following a dispute with Louis Joy, he established the Bar BC Bar B C Ranch, a dude ranch. He met and married his wife, Katherine Newlin Burt an author of Western novels, in the same year. Burt's son, Nathaniel Burt, was also a published writer.[1]
Struthers was one of the people who led ultimately to the establishment of Grand Teton National Park when, in 1923, he met with other like-minded individuals at Maud Noble's cabin and began the process of gathering support to have the area come under protection by the Federal Government.
His papers are housed at Princeton University.

The Diary of a Dude Wrangler 

Published in 1924 and written by Struthers Burt, this book is dedicated to all the dudes, cow-punchers, ranchers and horses the author has met. ( by the way, a cow-puncher is another term for a cowboy!) 

Struthers Burt was a noted writer and rancher that lived in the early twentieth century. He taught writing at Princeton University. His personal papers are located at Princeton University and the collection includes various copies of some of Burt’s own works, correspondence with family and friends from his days at Princeton University, and assorted materials about his family and genealogy. 

The Last paragraph from the book is quite poignant when read in the context of our environment in 2012: 

“I have said that the old West is still there, and so it is, and I have said that in many places it will continue to exist, and that is true, also, but I am afraid for my own country unless some help is given it – some wise direction. It is too beautiful and now too famous. Sometimes I dream of it unhappily. And when my blood sirs in my dreams I think that somewhere the blood of my uncle and my great-grandfather must be stirring, too."

Imagen cortesía de Archivos de la Universidad de Princeton 

Words from the Wild

Cadre of accomplished writers discovered Jackson Hole early on


The Bar BC Ranch was established in 1912 by Maxwell Struthers Burt and his fellow Philadelphian, Dr. Horace Carncross.

(page 1 of 5)
About the time Gertrude Stein composed the romantic line “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”—and invited Lost Generation writers and artists like Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Picasso into her chic Parisian salon on 27 rue de Fleurus—another significant literary get-together was taking place far away. This one was much more rustic in style; in some ways, however, just as glamorous, as a sophisticated crowd of artists and writers gathered in Jackson Hole. 

In the early 1900s they came to the valley to hunt, fish, write, and, in some cases, gather information for Saturday Evening Post articles or for their own books about the West. One of the big names was Owen Wister, author of The Virginian, the first true western novel. Wister stayed at the valley’s earliest dude ranch, the JY, on the banks of Phelps Lake, while building a cabin for his family. Others on the scene not long after included Ernest Hemingway, in the throes of writing A Farewell to Arms; the prominent publisher Alfred Knopf; Western writer Wallace Stegner; and historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bernard DeVoto.

Jackson Hole, frequented by trappers, outlaws, big game hunters, and cowboys, was very much “undiscovered” in the early 1900s, still the Far West of Theodore Roosevelt. To get here it took four or five days by train from the East, then a few more days in a covered buckboard over dirt roads. This small group of sophisticates, philosophers, poets, and some of the top people in publishing and politics—for the most part, Philadelphia socialites like Wister—sought out this valley, a place romanticized as the last of the Old West by Roosevelt and artists like Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, and Charlie Russell, and photographer William Henry Jackson. These were people who crossed the Atlantic on steamers and engaged in the creative movements in Europe, but also chose trail riding with cowboys, dancing the Charleston inside rough-hewn cabins, and singing “Ten Thousand Cattle” around a campfire under starry skies.

The man responsible for many of these visits to Jackson Hole was the valley’s second dude rancher, another prominent Philadelphian named Maxwell Struthers Burt. An award-winning novelist and one of Charles Scribner’s Sons top authors, he shared the prestigious editor Maxwell Perkins with the likes of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Burt wrote numerous popular novels, articles for The Saturday Evening Post, short stories for literary magazines, and many poems and songs. His best known books, Diary of a Dude Wrangler (1924) and Powder River (1938), became classic Wyoming histories. 

On Burt’s first ranch, the Bar BC, and later in the 1930s on his Three Rivers Ranch, he provided family, friends, and colleagues with rustic retreats where they could experience the West. The remoteness attracted the visitors. 

As one early Bar BC visitor reported, “We were so far away from home base we could have been in Tibet for all we knew."

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This article appears in the Winter 2012
issue of Jackson Hole Magazine

White Grass Dude Ranch interior. Jackson Hole Historical Society Museum

The Bar BC was the premier dude ranch in early Jackson Hole. Founded by Struthers Burt and Horace Carncross in 1912, it eventually encompassed 600 acres situated on the banks of the Snake River with incredible views of the Teton Range. The Bar BC gave wealthy easterners a chance to experience a romanticized version of the cowboy west. Struthers Burt and his wife Katharine, both writers, popularized dude ranching with their novels and film scripts, especially his Diary of a Dude Wrangler. The Bar BC became a literary oasis attracting many writers and other prominent individuals from industry, conservation, politics, and film. Several guests at the Bar BC were so affected by their experiences that they purchased land to start their own dude ranches in the valley. The heyday of dude ranching was the 1920s and 1930s. This unique era in the history of the valley was also the transition point from individuals homesteading or ranching the land for personal livelihood to residents providing services for area visitors as their primary means of occupation.

Wyoming Rustic
The Abandoned Cabins

The Bar BC Ranch was a dude ranch that today sits inside the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park. Established in 1912, the ranch's founders Struthers Burt and Dr. Horace Carncross catered to literary figures of the day offering them an authentic Western experience in these rustic cabins along the Snake River, which lies just beyond the golden leafed cottonwood behind the cabins. Burt, and his new business partner Irving Corse, sold the ranch to the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1929 on condition that they be granted a life estate permitting them to continue operating the dude ranch until both they and their wives passed. Rockefeller bought the land with the intent of it becoming part of a national park in Jackson Hole. A small Grand Teton National Park was created in 1929 but excluded Rockefeller's holdings, including the Bar BC Ranch. Eventually in 1950 the park was expanded including the ranch within the park boundary. The Park Service took ownership of Rockefeller's donated holdings, including the provision for a life estate for Burt, Corse and their wives. Corse later bought out Burt's interest in the life estate, but he died in 1953. His wife Margretta, however, continue to operate the dude ranch until 1985. The land finally passed to Park Service control upon her death in 1988. Since then, the ranch has been in a state of decay as the Park Service had to navigate several legal issues regarding the ownership and taxes on the property's buildings. Plans are currently underway to restore the dude ranch as an interpretive site and one interpretive marker has been erected at the top of the hill overlooking the property. While many of the cabins such as these two are in decent exterior condition, the interiors will need to be 

This cabin, numbered 18 on the jamb, is one of the buildings on the property that was recently stabilized to preserve it for future restoration. 
The cabin has a new roof and several new support timbers for the roof while the walls still show the wear of their age.


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