JO Ranch, Wyoming

JO Ranch, Wyoming

Four week-long sessions: Two in mid-June and two in mid-August. 

Volunteer with HistoriCorps to rehabilitate and preserve the JO Ranch in Wyoming! We're excited to be collaborating again with Cornerstones Community Partnerships of Santa Fe, New Mexico on this project in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management.

STUDENTS: If you are interested in earning credit or a certificate through the HistoriCorps Institute, learn more and apply through the HistoriCorps Institute's page.

Volunteers may sign up for  one or both sessions. Please plan to arrive between 5pm and 7pm the on the first day of the session; work will begin on the following morning. We will depart in the afternoon of the last day of the session. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended for this project as the dirt access road can change dramatically with the weather.


Experience the wild, "old west" beauty of the JO Ranch Rural Historic Landscape on this project! The JO Ranch was in operation from 1885 through the early 20th century. Following the Winter Kill of 1886-1887 that devastated cattle operations, ranchers in Wyoming began farming sheep instead. By 1909, the state counted more than 6 million sheep on its ranches, with much of the sheep farming concentrated near the rail lines that provided access to distant markets. The Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has an excellent timeline showing the history of Wyoming homesteading, ranching, and farming from 1860-1960. Volunteers may also like to read this wonderfully detailed history of the JO Ranch.

Deep in Carbon County, one of Wyoming's five original counties, the ranch is about 45 minutes from the nearest town of Baggs, WY and is "off the grid." There are several buildings onsite; volunteers and field staff will be working on the log ranch house, a wood bunkhouse, a stone bunkhouse, and a stone commissary.

The JO Ranch Rural Historic Landscape was highlighted on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. The site shares that the ranch is "...a rare and well-preserved example of a late 19th-early 20th century western sheep ranching operation in southwestern Carbon County, Wyoming...The JO Ranch also represents traditional Spanish sheep management practices that developed in southern Wyoming rather than the English system employed in the Atlantic colonies. The site consists of a ranch complex of buildings, structures, sites, and objects constructed of locally procured materials in a simple vernacular style and the associated landscape features include a corral system with livestock chutes, irrigation ditches, abandoned farm equipment and barbed wire fences." Read more here.

View a video about Carbon County here!

WHO:  All are welcome, no experience needed. Those between ages 14 and 17 must bring a parent or guardian in order to participate on this project.

WHAT: This June & August, HistoriCorps is collaborating again with Cornerstones Community Partnerships, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, to engage volunteers to rehabilitate and preserve four buildings at JO Ranch. The scope of work includes:

  • Roof repair, including installing shake shingles and corrugated metal roofing
  • Installing rehabilitated windows and doors after removing temporary plywood coverings
  • Repair and repoint portions of stone walls
  • Repairing wood flooring
  • Rebuilding a wooden porch floor and stoops
  • Repairing animal holes

WHERE:  The remote JO Ranch is approximately 24 miles north of Baggs, WY (map).
GPS Coordinates: 41°21'09.9"N+107°35'59.2"W


  • HistoriCorps and Cornerstones Community Partnerships, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, will provide volunteers with camping near the project site.
  • This remote site is not RV accessible, and there is no running water for showers. There will be port-a-potties provided.
  • Field staff will train volunteers in the project work. All tools and personal protective equipment are provided. Please do not bring your own tools - we don't want them to get lost!
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own camping supplies including: tent, sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries.
  • Volunteers are responsible for their transportation to and from the project and campsite. A high-clearance vehicle is required to access the site.
  • HistoriCorps will provide volunteers with meals including: breakfast, lunch, dinner, water and snacks.
  • The work day will last from 8:00am – 5:00pm with breaks for lunch, snacks and water in between.
  • Volunteers must come prepared with proper attire including: sturdy work shoes, long pants and a work shirt.

If you have any further questions, please contact Liz Rice, Volunteer Manager, at or at 720-287-0100 ext. 231. Thank you for your interest in this project!

NOTE: You will know if you have successfully registered if you receive an auto-generated confirmation email, and/or if you receive a greeting from a HistoriCorps staff member. If you do not receive either of these emails, please try once again, and then reach out to Liz at / 720-287-0100 x231.

  • June Session 1
    June 18, 2017 - June 23, 2017
  • June Session 2
    June 25, 2017 - June 30, 2017
  • HistoriCorps Institute Student: June Session 2
    June 25, 2017 - June 30, 2017
  • August Session 1
    August 8, 2017 - August 13, 2017
  • August Session 2
    August 15, 2017 - August 20, 2017
Price Qty
June Session 1show details + $0.00 (USD)   Sold Out
June Session 2show details + $0.00 (USD)   Sold Out
August Session 1show details + $0.00 (USD)  
August Session 2show details + $0.00 (USD)  

2017-05-12T08:45:15+00:00 March 9th, 2017|Comments Off on JO Ranch, Wyoming