The Lamb Ranch
Photos and Information Courtesy of the Lamb Family

Pictured in this 1920s photo, taken at the Lamb Ranch, are: Ed Lamb (front row 3rd from left) and George and Ella Lamb (front row 1st and 3rd from right, respectively).

Marilyn Lamb Roberts writes...

The original Lamb Ranch occupied 640 acres; the house sits on what is now the corner of Montana Ave. and Beaverhead Drive.

Henry A. and Annie Lamb, and their five children, Grace, Ed, George, Ella and Hilda, came from Broadlands, IL to the Helena Valley in 1918.

The brick home and garage, both of which still stand, was built that same year by Baline and Lindstrom for the princely sum of $15,000. The house is 4 stories, counting the basement, which contained a furnace room, coal room, laundry room, fruit room, and an extra bedroom. The main floor provided a kitchen, a sunroom, which was used in the summer as a dining room for the hired men, a large family dining room, a music room, and library. The upstairs had 4 bedrooms, a bath, and an attic room.

Upon completion of the house came the outbuildings - a big horse barn, granaries, icehouse, oil shed, chicken houses, double garage, shop, machine shed, bunkhouse, and a long dairy barn. All the outbuildings were painted red with white trim. A memory from Hilda Lamb quotes "We had dances in the barn, and lots of parties and dances on the porch of the house. We put cornmeal on the cement floor of the porch to make it easier to dance."

Henry and Annie celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1946. A few years later, Annie died. George and his wife, Darlene, along their two children, John and Marilyn, moved to the ranch to help Ed and Henry with ranching duties. Henry died in 1956.

Originally, the Lamb family raised purebred Hereford cattle, and in later years, purebred Aberdeen Angus was the breed of choice. Other livestock included horses, pigs, rabbits and domestic fowl. The acreage also sustained wheat, oats, and alfalfa. Darlene had an 'egg route' in the city of Helena, and the children would help collect, grade, and package the eggs. Darlene, with Marilyn in tow, would drive to town once a week to deliver fresh eggs to her customers.

Haying time was very labor intensive. The baling was done using 'modern' baling equipment. However, the 60-80 lb. bales were picked up by hand from the field and placed on the horse-drawn wagon by Ed, George, young John, and hired hands.
Progress had come to the Helena Valley and the new Interstate Highway #15 cut thru the best of the farming land. The house and property were sold in 1959. Treasure State Acres, a housing subdivision, has taken the place of the once fertile land, barns and other out buildings.

(excerpts taken from "Valleys of the Prickly Pear", published by The Little Red Schoolhouse, Inc., now out of print)


The Lamb Ranch from across N. Montana Ave. (the old Great Falls Highway) 1956

The Lamb House, 2012



Hauling Bales, 1955

Ed, George and John Lamb bringing straw bales in from the field, 1955.

Lamb Ranch Rodeo Flyer, 1958

The ranch hosted rodeos between 1956 and 1958, which were the precursor to the Last Chance Stampede.

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