Masters Ranch gives tribute to their heritage with newly designed entranceWritten by Emilee Gibb
Ranchester – In celebration of her family’s ranching heritage, third generation Wyoming rancher Marcia Masters Powers recently updated the entrance gate at Masters Ranch and shares the history of the century old operation.
Masters Ranch currently raises hay and cattle, using pivots and siderolls for irrigation, says Powers. As she witnesses the changes in operating the family ranch, Powers pays tribute to the family members that established the ranch and made the current thriving operation possible.
“I feel that I’m the main. I’m the last person of my family, and I need to have contact with the ranch. I feel very comfortable in doing that gate and was proud to do it,” says Powers.
“My dad, Leonard Masters, was a prominent rancher in the Tongue River Valley. He and his wife Marg operated a beautiful ranch for many years at the foot of the mountains,” comments Masters.
Power’s grandfather Tom was the first of the family to come to Wyoming as he acquired the original homestead and the foundation of the current ranch.
“He was working in a steel mill in Pennsylvania. Work stopped at the mill due to a strike, and Tom was out of work for a short time,” says Masters. “When he saw he going to run out of money to live on, he decided to go West. He received the right to secure the homestead by President Glover Cleveland, and that land became the footprint of the ranch.”
Her father Leonard leased his holdings in 1919 and moved to California where he was involved with construction.
“He started out in California. He actually built where the Rose Bowl is there, so he had a totally different life. When he got back to Wyoming, he really wanted to ranch and was very good at it,” she explains.
Leonard raised purebred Hereford cattle and produced hay, says Powers.
Powers finds herself grateful to have the opportunity to grow up on the family ranch.
“I think I was very fortunate to grow up on a ranch, learn how to work, have 4-H projects and ride my pony every day after school. It's pretty fortunate to have parents like that and a nice ranch,” she says.
Growing up involved in ranching allowed her to learn valuable skills and afforded many opportunities.
“We learned to work, have responsibilities, have 4-H steers and ride every day,” continues Powers.
Powers fondly remembers training her show steers with her brother Dick and other animal projects that her father brought home.
“I remember when Dad brought home some baby pigs and pulled them out of the gunny sack,” she says.
As the management of the ranch has transferred to her grandsons Marty and Doug, Powers has taken the role of preserving the western heritage of the Masters Ranch.
“The family still enjoys this land and hopes to have this privilege for many years to come,” says Powers.
As part of her role at the Masters Ranch, Powers recently rebuilt the ranch’s gate in commemoration of the family’s hard work. She explains that the century-old gate was in need of repair after a storm came through.
“It was two poles and somebody in the family had made us a sign with Mom and Dad’s brand on it,” says Powers. “Along came one of these microburst winds and it tore the top totally off. So it’s been there with two short poles for two or three years.”
A plaque on the gatepost reads as follows: “This ranch gate was designed by Marcia Masters Powers, in loving memory of Leonard (Pops), “Marg” and Dick Masters. Done with love and pride in June 2016.”
Powers comments, “The gate is a tribute to my heritage of which I am very, very proud.”