Ranch History

Over 100 years ago the area surrounding the Arkansas Valley was teaming with mining activity. The ranch was the original "mill site" for the Futurity Mine. At this site, the ore was processed from the surrounding mines of Futurity. Today, the Trading Post, an original building from the late 1800's, still stands as a reminder to the heritage of our mining past.

After the mining boom days died out, the ranch site became a geological survey camp for the Oklahoma A & M University. Students who attended the camp studied and mapped the surrounding area. The students also helped to build a few of the cabins at the ranch, which still stand today.

Oklahoma A&M sold the property to a local rancher and it became the Futurity Lodge. In 1980 the property was again sold to the Boyd's who began the operation of Elk Mountain Ranch.

Tom and Sue met at Elk Mountain Ranch in 1986. Tom was head wrangler and Sue was a children's counselor/wrangler. After three years of courting each other from a distance (Sue in Michigan and Tom in Indiana) and returning to Elk Mountain Ranch to work for the summers, Tom finally found the courage to propose in June of 1988. They Were married in 1989 and returned to Elk Mountain for what they thought to be "one last summer." That winter Tom returned to Indiana where he managed a ski shop (yes, a ski shop in Indiana) and Sue found a teaching job at New Palestine High School. All seemed perfect, but their hearts and minds still drifted to the Summers in the Rockies, views of Mount Princeton, blue skies, fresh air and cowboy cookies. They, once again, decided to return to the ranch in the Spring, but this time they were packing their bags and heading west for good. Day offs were spent looking for permanent employment in Colorado. When the season ended, the Boyd's must have felt sorry for them and offered them ranch housing for the winter (frozen pipes and all) and some remodeling jobs to keep them busy.

In the Summer of 1990, LaRue Boyd was offered a year-round position as Vice-Chancellor at Denver University. The offer was qUite an honor, but with the honor came the difficult decision of having to sell the ranch. They asked Tom and Sue if they would be interested in buying it. Their answer, "Well, of course!!" One slight problem ... they were fresh out of college and did not have that kind of money. It was in 1991 that they went into a "managing partnership" in hopes of earning enough for a down payment someday. Well ... many years later ... the ranch owns them - and - they could not be happier.

Tom and Sue have been blessed to be able to raise two children in a spectacular setting, where they meet friends from all over the world, spend their days riding horses, fishing, and hiking to tepees. Hunter is now 19 years old and Tyler is 16 years old. The family of summer staff are so good about keeping in touch and returning to visit. The ranch has been "match makers" for fourteen lovely couples. Tom and Sue have been hosts to 7,100 special guests from all over the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Egypt, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Denmark, Kuwait, Bermuda, Italy and U.A.E. We are thankful to be able to spend our lives doing something that we truly love, and thankful that we can share our little piece of heaven with all of you!

Elk Mountain Ranch

Simply the best place for a dude ranch vacation. Visit their website at www.elkmtn.com to see for yourself.