Green Meadow Ranch • Founded 1887

46°37'33.88"N 112° 2'49.70"W

Architect's Rendering of the Green Meadow Ranch, ca. 1914

Built by Harry W. Child (1856-1931), former President of the Yellowstone Park Company, the 620-acre spread was located along Green Meadow Drive, just north of the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds.

The four main buildings (house, barn, blacksmith shop and granary) were designed in a romantic Swiss chalet style by Robert Reamer (1873-1938). Reamer is best known as the architect of the rusitc Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park.

In 1887, Harry W. Child made a financial killing in the purchase and resale of the land that would become the Green Meadow Ranch. Acting as trustee for a consortium of Northern Pacific Railway executives and others, Child purchased the 620 acres for $62,000 in May and June of 1887. It was sold in August to the St. Paul and Helena Land and Improvement Company for $250,000.

In 1892, Harry W. Child, with partners Silas S. Huntley, L.H. Hershfield, Aaron Hershfield, and others, established the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Company to provide stagecoach travel in the Park. In 1901 Child, Huntley, and E.W. Back purchased the stock of the Yellowstone Park Association to consolidate their control of the concessions. Later that year, Huntley died, leaving Child to control both companies. Child also operated Child & Anceny with C. L. Anceny; that business dealt in real estate and cattle ranching. In 1909 Child, his wife Adelaide D. Child, and their son Huntley Child reorganized the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Company into its constituent parts, the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company and the Yellowstone Park Hotel Company.

In 1914, Child bought back the Green Meadow Ranch (under his wife's name) for an unknown amount. He contracted with Old Faithful Inn architect Robert Reamer to design the main structures.

The showplace barn was 450' long, and 40' high. It was constructed of heavy hand-hewn timbers; the window-frames were hand-carved with fanciful designs featuring horses heads, birds, etc. The barn had three cross-passageways, large enough to drive a team and wagon through. It had three lofts, one of which was sometimes used for dancing.

The residence burned to the ground in 1924, as did the barn in 1956 -- with the loss of twenty head of prize stock. The last owner of the Ranch was Black Angus breeder W. J. Harrer, who sold the land in the 1970s. It has since been subdivided. Harrer and his wife were major benefactors of Helena's Grandstreet Theatre.

 

Two Views of the Green Meadow Ranch Barn


COURTESY OF WENDI KOTTAS PETERSON

 


COURTESY OF WENDI KOTTAS PETERSON

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