near Meadow (Terry County)

The porch of the L7 Ranch Headquarters. Credit: Terry County Historical Commission.

The Lake, Tomb & Company (L7) Ranch was at one time the largest ranching operation in Terry County with resident employees.  The circa 1900 Ranch Headquarters served as an office and home for the ranch manager.  The one-story structure was built with a 12’ wide covered porch on its east and south sides, providing shade and shelter in the semi-arid, treeless and hot environment.  It also provided a place for outdoor sleeping, and even hosted Saturday night dances in a region with a population of only 48 in 1900.

This regional landmark, emblematic of an era, has been unoccupied for several decades.  Local efforts to relocate and restore the structure in the past were put on hold for lack of funds.  The house and its outbuildings require complete documentation, with physical recording of the building and archival research to better understand its past.  This information could lead to state and national historic designations, making the property eligible for state and federal tax credits.  Restored and repurposed, this iconic structure can once again come alive as a rare physical reminder of a lost way of life over a century ago.