Parade Rest Guest Ranch, and the land on which it sits has a rich history. It was part of the 200-mile long Bannock Indian Trail used by the Bannock Indians to trek from Idaho into the rich buffalo hunting grounds beyond Yellowstone Park. This trail had considerable influence on the opening of the northern sections of Yellowstone Park. Corey Springs, just west of the ranch, shows evidence of Indian use for 10,000 years (The trail to the Mountain Cookout in the Aspens actually follows part of the old Bannock Trail).
The land was originally homesteaded by Thomas and Kate Counter Rowse from a 1919 land grant, which means that Parade Rest Ranch is actually one year older than the town of West Yellowstone, Montana!
Thomas and Kate were “squatters” on the land while they went through the formal proceedings of filing for a homestead. The Rowses built the original Homestead Cabin. The horse pasture to the west of this cabin was originally farmed but not very successfully due to poor soil conditions. The Rowses often found Indian arrowheads when plowing.
Eventually, the ranch was sold to Major John and Marie Rodman. Major Rodman, retired from the U.S. Cavalry, is considered the “founder “of the Parade Rest Guest Ranch back in 1935. He began to invite some of his friends to the ranch to enjoy seclusion and good old Western Hospitality. As its popularity grew, the Major added more cabins and eventually named his spread, “The Parade Rest Ranch.” Parade Rest is a military term meaning “of relaxed attention.”
The Rodman’s first built the Yellowstone Cabin and subsequently gave the cabin its’ own lively history. The Major was a terrific shot and when he over-imbibed; he would shoot his gun into the floor and walls. You can still see some of those bullet holes today. Dog sled racing was a favorite winter past time of his, and Major Rodman became enthralled with raising Siberian Huskies – eventually owning 27 of them.
The ranch covers 160 acres surrounded on all sides by forest service land, some of which is leased for horse grazing. We also have another 160 acres of Ranch horse pasture.
Eventually, Parade Rest Ranch was sold to Wells and Lucille Morris. During their 22-year ownership, they remodeled the existing seven cabins and built three more. People came from all around the country year after year to enjoy the fishing, horseback riding and friendship they found at the ranch.
One mid October afternoon in 1979, Clyde and Linda Seely took their family on a horseback ride at the ranch, instantly fell in love with place and purchased it. Since then, the Parade Rest Guest Ranch has grown to include a total of 15 guest cabins, an expanded Dining Hall, the Bannock Hall, games, and complete horseback riding facilities.