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Where Is The Real-Life ‘Yellowstone’ Ranch And What’s The Story Behind It?

YellowstoneYellowstone first premiered on the Paramount Network in June of 2018, and it quickly became a hit as it rekindled America’s love affair with gritty, western dramas.

Yellowstone follows the lives of members of the Dutton family and those of all the ranch hands that work on the Yellowstone-Dutton Ranch.

Chief Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) tells John Dutton (Kevin Costner) in episode 5 of the first season “you own a ranch the size of Rhode Island,” which makes it clear that the Yellowstone-Dutton Ranch must cover at least 1,214 square miles or, more specifically, 776,960 acres of rich Montana valley.

With that much priceless Montana, land the Dutton family, along with those who work for them, must forever contend with those who would take it from them or at least see them lose it.

But is the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch real and what is the story behind it?

Yellowstone – The Real Yellowstone Ranch

The scenery in Yellowstone that pans by behind all the gritty, edge-of-the-seat action is so breathtakingly beautiful it is not surprising when folks wonder if it is an actual place or a crafty computer-generated rendering.

Well, you can stop wondering now.

It is a genuine Montana ranch, and it has a history that some might say is as rich as the one created for Yellowstone.

Chief Joseph Ranch, as it is currently called in the real world, sits in Darby, Montana.

Yellowstone – The History Of Chief Joseph Ranch

It is a 2,500-acre ranch that was homesteaded by settlers in 1880 when it was called Shelton Ranch.

In 1914 the ranch was purchased by glass tycoon William S. Ford and Federal Judge Howard Clark Hollister and appropriately renamed The Ford and Hollister Ranch.

That is when they began building the great house that we see today on, Yellowstone which would end up being called the Ford-Hollister Lodge.

When Ford died his wife, May Ford, and her daughters Phyllis and Billie Ann, turned the ranch into one of the first guest ranches in the American West.

In 1950 the ranch was again sold and renamed the Chief Joseph Ranch in honor of the famed Nez Pierce Chief who crossed the property while fleeing the U.S. Army during the Nez Perce War in the summer of 1877.

Catch all-new episodes of Yellowstone Sundays at 7 PM Central on Paramount Network. Keep checking back here for all your Yellowstone news, updates, and spoilers.

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