From the Dude Ranchers’ Association Came the Dude Ranch Foundation
In the mid-1920s, four forces converged to create the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA): the creation of a National Park System; the economic boom following WWI; the railroads need for passengers on their new routes in the west; and the nation’s fascination with the western culture of the cowboy. For almost 100 years, this new organization of independent ranches opened their gates, invited guests to cross their cattle guards, and extended western hospitality to the traveling public of the world. These ranch “families that took in friends” used horses to help unlock the mysteries of the west, behold the majesty of its public lands, and understand and participate in the lifestyle of the cowboy.
35 years ago, the Dude Ranch Foundation (DRF) and Heritage Museum grew out of the DRA.