As It Was: Mountain Ranch Rents Beds for 25 Cents a Night
In 1874, Raleigh Scott and his wife, Nettie, came to live on the Southern Oregon Coast, carrying all their possessions on two ponies. They purchased land in a small valley on the south-facing slope of Rocky Prairie Peak.
Scott constructed a house, a store, a barn, and outbuildings equipped with 14 rental beds for travelers on the trail between present-day Gold Beach and the Chetco River. The couple called it Mountain Ranch. An overnight stay and meal cost 50 cents. Those who couldn’t pay anything were as welcome as those who did. The Scotts were generous hosts who kept their latchstring on the outside of the door.
Mountain Ranch became an important link and longtime social center for the region. Saturday night dances drew young and old out of the hills, gorges, and canyons.
Scott also began to accumulate land, buying timber claims or purchasing from neighbors selling out. At one time, the ranch totaled 9,000 acres.
New transportation routes reduced the number of travelers, so the Scotts left ranch operations to their son and retired in Del Norte County, where they raised a herd of Holstein cows.
Source: Sponaugle, Ella. Pistol River Recollections. Gold Beach, Ore., Curry County Historical Society, 2003.