Beaver Tooth Charlie Buffalo Valley Cafe with Beaver Pelts

BeavertoothCharlie
fig19-1

In 1906 Charlie Beaver Tooth Neil and his wife Henrietta moved from Idaho and Homesteaded land on the Boggy Bench.  This land is now know as as the Buffalo Valley Ranch.  There were buildings there already, but they built and acquired a one room log house, two log stables, one wagon shed, two store houses, and a drought cellar.  Charlie also ran an illegal fur business from the drought cellar.

 

Beaver Tooth began the trading post immediately and in 1918 they made it official opening a Bargain Store in the same log cabin that the Buffalo Valley Cafe now calls home.  Beaver tooth Charlie hid his furs in the cellar under the Cafe.  That cellar is still there today.  The store was always stocked with staples and Charlie never turned anyone down who asked for credit.  They eventually expanded it to an eight cabin road camp.

 

There are many stories of Beaver Tooth Charlie that have become fables. One of the most notorious is when Beaver Tooth and Henrietta faked a fight and she told the Sheriff that he had left towards Dubois with all the illegal furs.  She was leaving him forever leaving on the Stagecoach towards Idaho and the Sheriff helped her load up and leave on the stagecoach.  When the Sheriff caught Charlie his bags were empty and Henrietta was nowhere to be found.

 

Grand Teton National Park relays these exploits as follows, “For example, according to local legend, Jackson Hole’s preeminent poacher, “Beaver Tooth” Neal, was never caught or convicted for his illegal activities.  A number of tales portray Neal as a crafty individual, who consistently outwitted game wardens, usually characterized as dimwitted buffoons.  In reality, Neal had a lengthy record of convictions.  In 1909, Pierce Cunningham, as justice of the peace, fined Neal $50 plus court costs after Forest Service rangers caught him in the act of poaching and arrested him.  In 1914 Neal’s neighbors, Jack Shive and Nate Smith, traveled to Kemmerer, Wyoming, to testify against Neal to 90 days in jail fined $100 for illegal possession of 11 untagged beaver pelts.  The Jackson Hole Courier noted that Neal had for two decades “occupied a prominent place in the Justice Court’s records.”  Jackson’s Hole Courier, January 28, 1909; reprinted in Jackson’s Hole Courier, January 29, 1949; and Jackson’s Hole Courier, May 17, 1914 and July 6, 1933. 

http://www.npshistory.com/publications/grte/hrs/chap19.htm

1001653bvc12

1920-1953 Dance Halls became just as popular in Moran, Wyoming as they were in the rest of the United States in the 1920’s.  In Elk, Wyoming the Neil’s opened one the valley’s most popular dance halls right where the Heart Six Lodge now stands incorporated into the main lodge of the Heart Six Ranch.  Local stories lead one to believe there was a little gambling in the basement and, perhaps, a red light on the door.  The dance hall was very popular until Charlie became a little too friendly at some dances.  He then closed the doors and left it to the bats!

The property was then bought by Dad Turner and Mr & Mrs. Maurice Scott.  Turner’s half became the Boggy Bench (where Heart Six now stands) and Scott’s half became the Buffalo River Ranch.

In 1953 Boggy Bench Ranch was purchased by Kenny Sailors, an All-American basketball player.  He played for the Boston Celtics and Nuggets.  Sailors was also a Colonel in the Air Force and a pilot for General Eisenhower.  The ranch was used as a hunting camp and renamed Heart Six Ranch.

huntingpartylg

1955-2016 Sailors then sold the ranch to his brother Bud Sailors.  The Buffalo Valley Ranch was sold to Mary and Louis Price in 1955.  During the 1960’s new cabins were built on Heart Six property and the ranch was first operated as a Dude Ranch.  Bud Sailors then sold the ranch to Dr. and Mrs. Hurst in 1974.  The Hurst’s were from Conro, Texas as suburb of Houston.  the Hurst’s wanted to get away from the ill effects of the ever growing city.  Mr. Hurst ran a small practice in town and Mrs. Hurst focused her energies on making the ranch run efficiently.

In 1984 The Hurst’s sold Heart Six Guest Ranch to Brian and Millie Harris of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The Harris’s have operated the property as a guest ranch, hunting lodge, and winter snowmobile haven through the spring of 2016.

Unknown

2016 Frank and Ann Chapman purchased the Heart Six Ranch in 2016 and the future looks amazing.  We have embarked on a program to upgrade and enhance the ranch.  Restoring the historical elements while bringing the technology of the ranch into the 21st century.  You can now use the internet while reading about Billy the Kid and the Hole in the Wall Gang riding through the Boggy Bench to deposit the money robbed from the Bank in Telluride in the Bank in Dubois, Wyoming, research who died at Deadman’s Bar, or even look into the gun fight at the Buffalo Valley Cafe.