|Dean Stacy serves steak to Dottie Grimes at the Castle Valley Ranch tour.|
The second annual Castle Country Economic Development Summit began with a tour of the Castle Valley Outdoors on Oct. 6. Participants boarded the bus at the Museum of the San Rafael and Kathleen Truman gave a bit of Emery County history on the way to the ranch. She said that Brigham Young issued a call to settle Castle Valley and it was his last official act as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Indians were on hand to greet the pioneers who arrived in the valley. Emery County was popular in those days with horse traders. Homesteaders had to live on their ranch to prove up and then a lot of them moved back into the towns which had sprung up along every creekbank. The original name of Moore was Rochester. Because land developers that came into the area arrived from Rochester, New York.
Around the same time as the canals were dug to Emery, the canal was brought into Moore. Many articles appeared in the Emery County Progress detailing the land developers. Ray Wareham said that when he was a child, 28 families lived in Moore. There was a church meeting house that doubled as a school or vice/versa. Truman is quite familiar with the history of Moore having lived there as a child. LC Moore sold out to LeRoy Bunderson, Truman's grandpa. Moore had been there for 31 years, beginning his land developments in 1910 and selling out in 1941. He also served a postmaster for the town. He had the town's name changed to Moore, quite likely after himself.
Dugouts and houses remain today along the Muddy from the bygone era. The Castle Valley Ranch has made use of old cabins on their land using them for tack rooms and other facilities. The ranch raises cattle and alfalfa hay. The ranch has an eight foot elk proof fence around its entirety. Upon arrival at the ranch, Truman introduced the crowd to Glendon Johnson, co-owner of the ranch. Johnson said the ranch is popular with the birds because of the wetlands, 46 species of birds were counted there recently. Johnson said in talking to an old cowboy friend, the friend told him, "I heard you never sold your saddle," and Johnson said, "I hope I never do." Johnson spoke of their love for the ranch and its beauty.
Johnson told of the two children he has buried at another ranch they have called the Baker Ranch. The original question came up of where Glendon wanted to be buried and he told his children under the Arch at the Baker Ranch, and as it turns out he had a son who died in an automobile accident at the age of 22 and a daughter who died of leukemia and he buried them there under the Arch. "That's where I want to be," said Johnson, "not in some crowded cemetery."
Johnson said they are a working cattle ranch with 16,000 deeded acres. They host visitors from all over the world at the retreat. They come to hunt in the surrounding mountains and the ranch also hosts pheasant hunts with birds raised by Jim Fauver. They also have fishing ponds. The Castle Valley Ranch was recently featured in the Gun Dog magazine where the writer said, "I have never had a better experience than the pheasant hunt here at the ranch." Johnson said that was high praise coming from a man who hunts birds all over. Johnson invited the guests to tour the lodge and the old farmhouse which has been restored. A new eight bedroom lodge is being built across from the lodge.
The steak dinner was cooked by the Society for Range Management. They use cooking projects to raise funds for an endowment fund for college students wanting to go into agriculture education. Jim Brown from Roosevelt and Dean Stacy from Price cooked the steaks. George Cook kept an eye on the Dutch oven potatoes along with Rusty Truman. Ron Torgerson is the president of the Utah State Society for Range Management and his wife, Jana helped in the cooking production.
The guests dined in the outdoors on steak, rolls, vegetables, salad and Dutch oven cobbler and ice cream. They were entertained by Miss Emery, Shala Pitchforth who performed three numbers. Cowboy poets Sam DeeLeeuw of Manti and Scott McKendrick of Logan entertained with cowboy poetry. The poem by DeLeeuw about religion stated that most religions don't recognize other religions and Mormons don't recognize each other in Mesquite, brought quite a chuckle from the audience. The audience learned about Big Hilda, being a rancher's wife and how to give advice to your husband as he's being chased by a cow. McKendrick told about how fall time at the ranch is different than spring when everyone is raring to go. He also told a story about reincarnation where a flower grows on your grave and the cow eats the flower and then out comes a cow dropping and you really haven't changed that much after all.