Ryegate Head 1

Ryegate, Montana

Ryegate Head 2

Sims-Garfield Ranch
by Emmy Lou Garfield

  We believe this to be one of the oldest ranches on the Musselshell. The first water right was for mining water. At this time it was part of the Louisiana Purchase and recorded in St. Louis on April 10, 1862.
  On the Buffalo Trail at the point of entrance to the Sims Ranch, a suitable gate was to be erected. Mr. Sims told his foreman to build the gate. After placing what he felt was the right structure, Mr. Sims said, "What are those sticks there for?" The foreman replied, "To brace the gate." Sims said,"Tear it out and put in a gate that don't need to be propped." The foreman went back for two huge posts. (It took four work horses to pull each post.) The posts were then placed at the entrance gate. Mr. Sims looked at it and said, "There now, that's a gate!" These posts have been there since about 1900. One is now a corner post and has gone through fire, floods, ice jams and still stands. They removed one when the bridge was placed but it proved such a tremendous chore that they just went around the one that is still standing.

  The town of Ryegate was originally part of Sim's hay field. When the railroad purchased the right of way they had to set aside a town site every so many miles and name it. They set aside a siding for the railroad and a town site. Sims had a large field of rye there, so they named it Ryegate.
  In a brochure advertising Ryegate, published in 1914 we have taken the following quote: "The Great Musselshell Valley, of which Ryegate is a part has been well known for forty years. It being along about the year 1871 that the cattle men began to use its rich grazing lands for the special winter quarters of their stock. Ryegate is a truly western town. This is a new town in a new county and has hardly passed the 4 year mark. It is situated on the main line of the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, being nearly centered between Miles City and Butte." *

* taken from "Bicentennial Golden Valley County Heritage '76"

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This Month in GVC

Chief Joseph Landmark
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"The Nez Perce people, under the leadership of their great Chief Joseph, crossed the Musselshell River near here on September 17, 1877. They had left their Idaho homeland in a valiant but futile effort to reach Canada. Their march, marked by several skirmishes with the U.S. Army, ended at the fateful Battle of the Bear's Paw with their surrender to Colonel Nelson A.  Miles October 5, 1877."
- Golden Valley Bicentennial Commission, '76


Ryegate Public School

Ryegate Public School

Web Site:  www.midrivers.com/~rpsadmin



Ryegate Links:

Business Listing:  A look at the businesses of Ryegate.
-if you have a business, and would like to be added to the listing, please pick up a form from the Courthouse in Ryegate.

Business Opportunities:  Information on programs the county has in place to encourage economic growth within Ryegate and the county.


Ryegate Facts:

Latitude & Longitude:
46 Degrees & 40 Minutes North Latitude
109 Degrees & 10 Minutes West Longitude

Population: 260 (1990 Census)

Nearest Airport: - local light aircraft landing strip
- 62 miles to Logan International Airport, Billings MT


Courthouse, Clerk & Recorder, Road, About GVCSheriff, Business Opp, EMS, History,
GVC Weather, Commissioners, Treasurer, Vehicle Recycling, J P Court,  Lavina, Ryegate

Last Updated: April 2014. Send questions and comments to contact@co.golden-valley.mt.us
Site designed by Shana Mattheis - Maintained by Craig Mattheis