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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, this forum has helped me greatly in the past, and hopefully you can again. I
am writing a young adult novel that partly has to do with a 20,000 acre ranch, somewhere in "the west."(I don't want to say specifically.) I don't need to go into a lot of detail about it, just that it's a ranch, they ran cattle and horses, mostly family operation with a few longtime trusted employees, a few temp workers when the need arose. What I need to know are the most typical buildings/structures you'd find on this ranch. I'm guessing the ranch house, barn(s), corrals, sheds of various types, a shop(?) or two for machinery repair/maintenance, pump room/house, etc. Forgive me if I sound woefully ignorant.....it's because I am! As I say, I don't have to go into a lot of detail; it's not what the story is about. But if one of your teen-agers read it, I don't want them to think "are you kidding?? Does this author know anything??" Thank you!
 

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In the West you rarely see the large two story barns that one sees elsewhere. Ours tend to be lower and smaller.

Yeah, everybody has a machine shop if they put up hay. Otherwise I know several that don't even have a garage.

The well house may be 8x8x8' or it might be a cover on the ground.

One or two small 2 bedroom houses for the hired help and their families (if they hire help with families). Trailer houses got popular the last forty years.

Good luck.
 

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What about sheds? Tack shed? Maybe outbuildings in various far-flung areas of the place?
Tack is usually stored in the low barns. Horses, even at high end breeding ranches, might only be brought in to be saddled.

On very large ranches of several hundred thousand acres, you occasionally find line shacks, where ranch hands may stay if they are working a herd nearby. And do so every year.

Otherwise, if there is a range management project or major fencing project going on away from headquarters, supplies are dropped off near where they'll be needed and the hands commute from home. Or bring range teepees, which withstand our wind. Usually.

Range teepees are handier than trying to anticipate where people might need to be for several days. And cheaper than maintaining buildings.
 

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Oh! I did think of an instance when ranches have permanent outbuildings.

In the last 15-20 years some are leasing parts of their places to private groups of hunters. Sometimes those guys haul in, or build, little one-room shacks to stay in during their lease season.

Very lucrative for the rancher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for this info. The issue is I need some buildings....or places....The story is about something valuable being stashed out on the ranch somewhere, it's vast, and the people searching for it (teens) have barely an idea where to look. Big mystery where it might have been stashed, and there's a time crunch to find it.
 

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Thanks for this info. The issue is I need some buildings....or places....The story is about something valuable being stashed out on the ranch somewhere, it's vast, and the people searching for it (teens) have barely an idea where to look. Big mystery where it might have been stashed, and there's a time crunch to find it.
There could be some old homesteader cabins still on the place.

There are several places that keep up homesteader cabins. That also have root cellars.
 
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