Friday, 15 June 2018 06:59

Reesor Ranch Provincial Heritage Property plaque unveiled

Written by  Jamie Rieger
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The Reesor family, with Theresa and Scott pictured on the right, pose with the plaque they received last week for the Historic Reesor Ranch being recognized by the Saskatchewan government as a Provincial Heritage Property, the first ranch in the province to receive such a distinction. The Reesor family, with Theresa and Scott pictured on the right, pose with the plaque they received last week for the Historic Reesor Ranch being recognized by the Saskatchewan government as a Provincial Heritage Property, the first ranch in the province to receive such a distinction. Contributed

It was more than a century ago that WD and Alice Reesor filed for a homestead claim on a picturesque piece of land in the Cypress Hills, a place where they would raise their family and build what would become a very successful cattle operation. 


WD and Alice filed for a homestead claim in 1904 for land where the ranch is today  and moved into a a shanty the following here until a house could be built.
The current ranchhouse, was built in 1916 and today, serves as the family home and a bed and breakfast.
Along with the ranchhouse, many other buildings have survived the test of time and are also being used to accommodate guests at the Historic Reesor Ranch.
The Old Log Barn was built in 1906 with logs from the Cypress Hills and was once used to house horses, cattle, chickens, turkeys, and sheep. These days, the Old Log Barn is used for large group accommodations.  There is also a log cabin, cowboy cabin, and bunkhouse for guests.
Having a tourism destination at the ranch was the desire of Scott's mother, Helen, and she would be proud of her son and daughter-in-law as they received a plaque last week for being designated a Provincial Heritage Property by the Saskatchewan government.
“The designation of the Historic W.D. & Alice Reesor Ranch helps to preserve Saskatchewan's strong ranching history,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said in a press release. 
“The Reesor Ranch not only represents the importance of the family ranch in Saskatchewan, but its main buildings are also fine examples of the craftsmanship used in ranch architecture in Cypress Hills during that period.”
"It is a beautiful bronze plaque that we will mount someplace. We just haven't decided where yet," said Theresa, adding that the designation was a long time in the making.
"It took us one-and-a-half years to get the designation. We hired a heritage management consultant from Calgary who knew how to do this kind of thing."
It is because of the century-old buildings on the ranch and the Reesor's efforts in sharing the experience of cattle ranching, the traditions, and the history of the ranch with tourists that the decision to give the Historic Reesor Ranch the provincial distinction was a unanimous one.
"Historic places play an important role in our provincial identity, our sense of place, and providing locations and events that support tourism. The ranch retains many historic buildings, which were constructed between 1906 and 1916, including the ranch-house, barn, granary, bunkhouse and roothouse," reads the press release. "The ranch represents a time in Saskatchewan’s history when ranching shifted from mainly corporate enterprises to family-run operations."
While many ranches no longer have their original buildings, Theresa is hoping that others will also follow in their footsteps.
"We are the first ranch in Saskatchewan to get this designation. Now, we are hoping others will follow," she said.
Through The Heritage Property Act, Saskatchewan’s irreplaceable and non-renewable heritage is protected and preserved for the benefit of Saskatchewan residents. 
There are 52 Provincial Heritage Properties in Saskatchewan.

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