In 1944, the Davises sold the ranch to H.T. Morcom
, who later sold/gave to his son in 1962 Jean Morcom.
(Courtesy Bill Crowell: The Morcom family kept the ranch until 1972. Subsequent owners were the Cutler brothers, who raised cattle, and Marty Rust, who bought the place in 1980, planning to convert it into a dude ranch. In 1985, a large fire destroyed most of the ranch buildings. The remaining buildings give little sense of the size of the original complex, and the cottonwood trees shown behind Conley in the above picture are completely gone. The BLM bought the ranch in 1993, and it is now part of the Lower Owyhee Canyon WSA.)
Most of the ranches had water wheels to lift water out of the river to irrigate the land. This ranch had a canal system from a rock dam upstream.
According to research listed on Bill Crowells website, almost all of the ranches along the Owyhee River were moonshiners during prohibition, including this ranch.
The "new house" had sidewalks, couple nice fireplaces, and apparently electricity. There was a light bulb in the bathroom and a hot water heater. I'm guessing all run by a generator but could have been a propane hot water heater.
Root Cellar? It's a long road down here though and they didn't make many trips to town. In the early 1900's ranchers would only go to down in their wagons once or twice a year.
Wood bridge across what used to be the canal on the old main entrance to the ranch
This was a nice place once upon a time. When the Morcom's sold the place they moved to California and had a citrus ranch.
New house left, old house right.
We then ride upstream a ways. Some of the trail we now ride was in the old canal
We encounter minor turbulence
Mrs. Admiral stops for some photography
Across the river is Rinehart Falls. Rinehart Ranch is above the canyon rim
The road dead ends at the irrigation head gate. This is where the rock dam was located. The old dam serves as a rapids for rafters now days.
Heading back along the river from the head gate towards the ranch
End of Part I
To be continued