Thinking a Ranch Backwards: The History of the Barrel and Indian Creek Ranch




Marin Bullock
Alex Hunt

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Center for the Study of the American West


The Barrel and Indian Creek Ranch (BICR), as it exists today, has about 150 years of history as ranching country, but did not always exist in its current form. Instead, the ranch’s history partakes of the larger trend, having been first part of a massive, ill-defined range and then subject to breakups and patchwork ownership over the years. In fact, Barrel and Indian Creek began as part of the great JA Ranch, product of the 1877 partnership between John George Adair and Charles Goodnight. But while we will come to this legendary partnership, we took the approach of moving backward, historically, in tracking the shifting terrain of ownership of what has come to be known as Barrel and Indian Creek Ranch. Therefore, this reverse-history will begin with the contemporary scene.




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