The James and Elizabeth Cant began ranching on this riverside farm in 1910. The Cants were Scottish immigrants. Elizabeth’s cup and saucer brought from her homeland sit on display in the farmhouse. This treasured cup and saucer from the homeland must have brought great comfort to Elizabeth. I have to think that the John Day area must have seemed far from civilization back then (it still feels far from civilization today). After the Cants passed away the ranch was sold to the National Parks Department in 1975. Today Park Rangers maintain the site. You can walk through the house and learn more about life on the ranch. You can also view the sitting room furnishings and several pictures of the Cant family.
The Cant Ranch was a sheep ranch. The Cant’s were an interracial part of their community. The often hosted dinner and entertained guests. During the long hot summer months theses dinners sometimes turned into midnight affairs. Sleep in during the summer months was hard to come by due to the heat. The family, the hired hands, and guests often slept outside on the large open porches. The girls slept on the second floor porch, while the boys slept below on the front porch.
You can also walk around the farm and view the old farm equipment once used. It’s amazing how much heavy work was done in an age before tractors and heavy machinery. The barn and corrals still stand.
This is a great place to stop and enjoy a picnic. It’s less than a quarter mile from the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center. It makes a good pairing of adventures if you find yourself in the area.
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