Museum Minute: Valley Ranch Boarding School

May 5, 2020

Guests with horses at Valley Ranch
Credit Copyright Jack Richard, McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West

From 1922 to 1934, there was a college preparatory school for boys down the south fork in Cody. The Valley Ranch Boarding School was founded by Larry Larom and Winthrop Brooks. 

The two men were from wealthy New York families. Larom visited Cody a couple of times, and eventually decided he wanted to become a dude rancher. He got Brooks to buy Valley Ranch with him. They brought many of their colleagues and friends from New York to experience a dude ranch vacation. 

Samantha Harper, an archivist at the McCracken Research Library, said in the offseason the ranch served as boarding school. 

“You would have a lot of these titans of interest industry, ultra-elite level families send their sons out to Larry Larom for the school year, and they would perform all of their studies out on Valley Ranch in, you know, the middle of Wyoming but they were all together,” she said. 

However, the boarding school closed in 1934 because it was greatly impacted by the Great Depression.