Rarely does a closely held family farmstead, steeped in such history become available on the open market. The Melvin R. Beck Ranch offers 287± acres in the shadows of the Flint Creek Range less than 15 minutes south of Deer Lodge, Montana. Most recently managed for hay production with 120± acres under pivot and 100± acres under three, quarter-mile wheel lines. The ranch has retained ample water rights, the oldest with priority date back to 1869. There are two historic improvement clusters. The original homestead and an operational headquarters with a barn, shop, grain storage, and equipment storage. A blank slate or fuse old with new, the Melvin R. Beck Ranch is ready for stewards to see it through the next 100 years and beyond.
Just the Facts
- 287± acres in two parcels
- 120± acres under pivot
- 100± acres under three wheel lines
- Significant water rights
- Historic family homestead surrounded by operating ranches
- Minutes from Deer Lodge, Montana
The Melvin R. Beck Ranch offers panoramic views of the Flint Creek Range, dominated by 10,168 foot Mount Powell to the west. The property consists of two contiguous blocks divided by a lightly used county road with improvement clusters on each side. Entering the homestead is like a walk back in time with well-preserved cabins, equipment sheds, and outbuildings which could be integrated with modern improvements to maintain the historic western ambiance. The homestead sits at the geographic center of the property, with irrigated pastures on three sides.
The Melvin R. Beck Ranch is a compact holding in a locale known best for its agricultural way of life. In close proximity to a modest population center yet far removed from the big city bustle, the ranch offers a happy medium, far away, but not too far. With infrastructure in place, and easy, four-season access, the ranch is ready for new owners to continue the Montana way of life and make it home again.
The Melvin R. Beck Ranch is located 10 minutes south of Deer Lodge, the county seat of Powell County, Montana. The property is a short drive from Interstate 90, the major east/west transportation corridor through the middle of the state. Deer Lodge, a town of approximately 3,000 people, is a regional hub connecting a small network of outlying agricultural communities. For amenities associated with larger cities, Butte is a mere 30 minutes to the southeast, with Missoula, Montana’s second-largest city 1.5 hours to the west. Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks are 3.5 and 3 hours away, respectively.
Deer Lodge is located at 46.4 degrees north latitude on the western side of the Continental Divide at an elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level. Climate is punctuated by cold, dry winters and moderately warm summers. The average low in January is 9°F, with an average high in July of 80°F. On average, the area receives 11 inches of rain per year, with the wettest month being June. Average annual snowfall is 36 inches with January being the month with the most snow at 8.5 inches. The growing season typically starts in mid-May and lasts through late September.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
- 287± acres
- 100± acres under three, quarter-mile wheel lines with additional acreage that could be integrated
- 120± acres under pivot with high production well/pump
The ranch offers two historic improvement clusters but lacks modern structures providing a blank slate for the new owners. The historic homestead includes several turn-of-the-century log cabins, a milking parlor, stable, paddocks, and various outbuildings, all enveloped within a mature stand of healthy cottonwoods. The operational headquarters includes a barn, two equipment sheds, cabins, workshops, grain storage, and corrals. Power and water are on site.
Water is abundant. The ranch has retained ample irrigation and stockwater rights. Water is delivered via network of ditches from Racetrack Creek and one high volume well. Well logs and water right abstracts are available upon request.
The ranch is well situated to take advantage of a wide array of recreational pursuits. World-class trout fisheries in Rock Creek, the Big Hole River, Flint Creek, and the Clark Fork River are all easily accessible. Deer Lodge sits between two of the state’s largest US Forest Service Units, Helena and Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forests, for a combined 6.15 million acres to explore. Horseback riding, hiking, camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, and ATVing are just some of the activities available in the millions of acres that make up Montana’s public lands.
Historically, Melvin R. Beck Ranch, because of its level topography, fertile soils, and irrigation infrastructure, has been leased in its entirety for hay and alfalfa production. The property is fully fenced and cross-fenced, making it amenable to grazing as well. Existing equipment storage facilities will give new operators a great head start should they decide to continue the ranching legacy.
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