Originally featured in Points West magazine in Spring 2010
Black and white photograph of children dressed as “dudes” at Valley Ranch
New Yorker L.H. “Larry” Larom first visited Jim and “Buckskin” Jenny McLaughlin’s Valley Home Ranch southwest of Cody, Wyoming, in 1910. Larom and his Princeton classmate, Winthrop Brooks of Brooks Brothers, purchased the property for a cattle ranch in 1915.
Like other ranchers with many eastern friends, they discovered their hospitality cost more than they could afford so they became dude ranchers! Here are a few of their little buckaroos.
Children at Valley Ranch. Gift of Irving H. “Larry” Larom Estate. MS 14 Irving H. Larom Collection, McCracken Research Library. P.14.1
Larom and his wife Irma were pioneers in various ways. They started a successful college preparatory school at the ranch, known as the Valley Ranch School for Boys, operational from 1922 to 1934. Larom became sole owner in 1926. Joan Crawford and Tallulah Bankhead were two of its better-known guests. Larom sold the property in 1969, four years before his death. It is now in private hands.
Learn more about the history of dude ranching in the West.