Paradise Guest Ranch
In the late 1890s, Mr. Norman Meldrum drove a herd of cattle from Colorado up to Buffalo, Wyoming, where he had acquired some land.
The cattle were wintered near the present Soldier’s Home and summered in the upper meadow range of the Big Horns, which was to become Paradise Ranch. Meldrum liked the mountain meadow so well that he proved up on the land and acquired title.
He built the original log cabin, which still stands today. Norman Meldrum’s son, Dr. Gordon Meldrum, returned from the war in the Philippines and decided to settle in Buffalo and establish a practice. Gordon Meldrum was enchanted with the cabin in the mountains and encouraged friends to visit him there. It was these visitors who eventually called the meadow “paradise.” The name stuck and eventually became the name of the ranch.
Shortly after Dr. Meldrum married Mabel Lee in 1903, they added a few more cabins to accommodate their friends. Soon, they began hosting paying guests and the infant dude ranch was on its way. Paradise Ranch has hosted many folks from around the globe, including Owen Wister, who wrote a portion of “The Virginian” while a guest; and Aldo Leopold, a writer and guest, wrote this about Paradise Ranch in A Sand County Almanac: “Finally, there was Paradise Ranch, an obvious platitude when read from a map, but something quite different when you arrived there at the end of a hard ride. It lay tucked away on the far side of a high peak, as any proper Paradise should.
Through it’s verdant meadows meandered a singing trout stream. A horse left for a month on this meadow, waxed so fat that rain-water gathered in a pool on his back. After my first visit to Paradise Ranch I remarked to myself, what else could you call it.” The official date for the beginning is about 1907.