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Part of the ongoing Gold Country GeoTourism Program. All the fun of geocaching with an added tourism twist; discover tales of our pioneers, unearth geological wonders or reveal magnificent sites of beauty. If you enjoyed this adventure look for more in this series. Collect a sticker from 24 caches of Phase 2 and redeem for a prize. Check goldtrail.com for more details.
The YD Ranch got its name from the brand registered by the Matier family. It was here that Herb Matier and his wife Muriel established a dude ranch in the 1940’s. However the ranch history goes back several years prior….
In 1885 James Goss preempted a quarter section on Barnes Creek. A home was built, land irrigated and crops planted. Water came from nearby Barnes Lake for irrigation; the lake also supplied the ranch with ice. It was a real picturesque place. The Goss family also established a sawmill, and provided lumber to the locals. An old water wheel that they obtained from Harpers Mill would provide the power to run the sawmill. The deed to the land was obtained in March of 1904.
James Goss died in 1909, his wife Sarah in 1929, the family Ranch continued to be occupied by Goss family members until 1941 when Herb Matier and his wife Muriel took it over. Four or five cabins were added to the property and the ranch became a getaway for dudes.
Muriel (nee Haywood-Farmer) grew up on the Indian Gardens Ranch near Savona. It was Muriel along with the hired help and son Colin that took on the work of looking after the guests. Most of the cabins were full in the summer and Muriel was a busy girl. She had a milk cow, a couple of steers, and some chickens and pigs. Ken Owens who often stopped at the Matiers as he rode through the Highland Valley area always looked forward to Muriel’s homemade apple pie. It was about 4 inches thick and covered with fresh cream.
Herb was born in Kentucky and was a well-known rodeo competitor. His rodeo career took him across Canada and down into the states. When Herb arrived in the Ashcroft area he took to chasing wild horses. There is still evidence up through the Highland Valley of some of the corrals that Herb built for herding the horses into. Herb would also play the fiddle and entertain the guests, and occasionally travelling performers would stop at the YD. A young Colin was influenced by the music and upon retirement recorded many country, and gospel songs.
Sometime in the 1960’s the land was acquired by a Dr. McLean he subdivided the property and sold off some of the lots. The original homestead was abandoned for about 20 years until 1992 when it was purchased by Bev Baker and Lidio Daneluzzi. The buildings were in poor condition and they considered burning them down, instead they set about restoring them. The property has been recently acquired by new owners. It is still known as the YD but is a private residence.
|Detailed access information:
Nearest Community: Ashcroft, B.C.
Date Established: 1940 c
Cache site: Crown Land
Ownership: YD Ranch is privately owned.
Accuracy: 3 meters
Access information and restrictions:
From Ashcroft take Hwy 97C South for approx 9 kms. Turn left on Barnes Lake Road and follow until you reach YD Ranch road. This is a no thru road.
Parking Advice: Park off to the side of the road at the wide spot past the cattleguard. Local traffic.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum