Moon-Randolph Ranch

1515 Spurlock Road, Missoula, MT

Map 

Description 

"In 1889, Ray and Luella Moon filed a homestead claim on 160 acres two miles north of Missoula. The Minnesota couple built a shed-roofed claim shack, broke an acre of land, dug a well, and planted a garden. Five years later, the Moons had installed 580 rods of fence, constructed a 23-by-27-foot barn, planted seventy-five fruit trees, and expanded their cultivated acreage to thirty. The day after the Moons "proved up" in 1894, they sold the homestead to Ray's parents. William and Emma Randolph purchased the farm in 1907. Over time, they expanded their operation to 414 acres, on which they raised fruit, vegetables, poultry, dairy cows, a few beef, honey bees, and pigs. Six days a week, William peddled the farm's produce to Missoulians in a horse-drawn wagon along an established route. Cobbling together a living from small-scale mining, agriculture, and odd jobs, the Randolphs were well-known for their willingness to share food and coalŚmined from a seam on their propertyŚwith those in need. The Randolph's farm reflected the family's necessary frugality. William constructed buildings from salvaged boxcar siding and incorporated car parts, shovels, and bed frames into his fences. After World War II, an expanding trucking industry, mechanization, and industry consolidation transformed agriculture. Small, diversified farms like the Randolph's became increasingly rare. Although he lived here until 1995, William and Emma's son Bill worked in Missoula to make ends meet. In 1995, the city purchased the property, which remains a testament to the era when local farmers produced most of the food that Montanans consumed." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

Tags 

19th Century (37,522)
Built 1889 (686)
Built during 1880s (6,434)
District (10,358)
Missoula County, Montana (116)
Montana (2,084)

Update Log 

  • August 7, 2019: Added by Richard Doody

Sources 

  • Richard Doody