The Town that Became a Ranch

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Sawmill Near Early New Haven, WY

The town of New Haven, Wyoming, ran the cycle of many small ranch towns in the West. It was originally established in 1910 to support a few local ranches with mail and general goods. As it grew with the influx of homesteaders, miners, and loggers, New Haven became a gathering place for social events, dances, Christmas parties, and school activities. As was common in old West towns such as New Haven, the old timers tell stories of feuds, killings, and brawls. As time passed and transportation moved away from horsepower, logging became mechanized, the uranium mine closed, and the homesteaders starved out; the usefulness of the New Haven town died. The general store and post office closed in 1955. The schoolhouse closed in 1971.

The Surviving Community Center

The only maintained building in New Haven is the community center which sits on land donated by the Clark family across from the New Haven Ranch lodge. Around 1972 the schoolhouse was moved from New Haven; up the hill, and attached to the community building to give it more room. This building is still used today as a polling place to vote, for funerals, wedding receptions, and community social gatherings such as the annual Christmas party and a summer potluck. The building contains many pictures and artifacts from the community’s history.

New Haven Ranching Community

The ranching community around New Haven hasn’t changed quite as dramatically as the town, but change is coming. The ranches are bigger and farther apart. Along with their cattle, sheep, goat, and crop enterprises, hunting, dude ranching, and tourism have been added. Instead of homesteaders dotting the landscape, there are now retired people and urbanites trying to escape the bigger cities to enjoy the solitude of this beautiful country. The New Haven Ranch is pretty typical of the area. Since Nick Bohl purchased it in 1999, it has been run as a yearling grazing and haying operation. In addition, the main ranch house has been rebuilt as a lodge for turkey, pheasant, prairie dog, antelope, and deer hunters, as well as riding and vacation guests.

Wyoming Ghost Town

The ghost town of New Haven showed signs of life in 2000 when Nick’s recently widowed mother, JoAnn Bohmont, a retired Hereford cattle breeder and farmer from Nebraska, moved in. She first lived in one of the old houses remodeled as a bunkhouse while a new log home was built by contractor Lyle Ike on the edge of the town. Then in 2006, Nick married journalist, Doerte Marks of Schleswig, Germany. Doerte came to the ranch in 2003 as a cook for the New Haven Working Cattle & Guest Ranch. In 2008, Brandon, Brandy, and Emmett moved back to the ranch.

The family’s current plan for New Haven is to restore the general store and some of the old log cabins and buildings. But time is against the old town, and reversing or halting the deterioration is a tall order—time will tell the outcome. The population of New Haven is currently up to 6.

New Haven is Still on the Map

It is interesting to note that New Haven, Wyoming can still be found on many maps and atlases. The New Haven community continues its reputation of being a community where neighbors help neighbors with brandings, dockings, accidents and wildfires.

The Ranch

The New Haven Ranch, currently being offered for sale at $7.5M, is located in the sparsely populated area of northwest Crook County, Wyoming, at 100 Mule Creek Road. It is approximately 13 air miles and 18 road miles west of Hulett, Wyoming on the New Haven-Hulett (Co. Rd 67) county-maintained graveled road from State Highways 24 and 112.

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Devil’s Tower Near New Haven, WY

Devil’s Tower National Monument and the Missouri Buttes are located south of the ranch and the Black Hills National Forest of Wyoming is located to the east. The area is primarily made up of working ranches used agriculturally for livestock grazing, hunting, dryland hay, and farming purposes. Though, like many sought after areas, the area also has several smaller rural residential and recreational properties.

The Nearby Town of Hulett, WY

The Town of Hulett is nestled in a valley surrounded by beautiful red rimrock with the Belle Fourche River flowing through it. The Town was named for the first family to settle in the area in 1881, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Hulett. Hulett with a population of 406 has all the amenities of a larger town including a medical clinic, school, bank, post office, public library, grocery store, several cafes, motels, newspaper, county-owned airport (5,500 x 75 ft. runway) used for private jets and planes, museums and an 18-hole private golf course. Located in the Black Hills in Hulett, just eight miles from our nation’s first National Monument, The Golf Club at Devils Tower is renowned throughout the region as a Private Destination Golf Club. Known for its scenic beauty, awesome changes in elevations, lush fairways, and smooth putting greens, the golf course presents a challenge of skill and strategy. Recognized as one of America’s Top Facilities by the National Golf Foundation, and honored in 2007 among Golf Digest’s “Best New Courses”. Recognized in 2021 & 2022 by Golfweek in the Top 5 Best Private Golf Courses in Wyoming. Members and their guests find themselves met with all the challenges of a world-class golf course layout in a truly picturesque setting.

Hulett is known for its friendliness and willingness to help not only neighbors but strangers if needed. Although a quiet town most of the year, it comes to life beginning in the spring with the Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot followed by tourists headed to Devils Tower, motorcyclists in August, and hunters in the fall.

Travel Information

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Keyhole State Park

Commercial flights are available into and out of Rapid City, SD or Gillette, WY. Other towns and attractions in the area include the Crook County seat of Sundance, about 36 miles to the south via WY-24 and US-14. Shopping is also available in nearby Belle Fourche, SD or Spearfish, SD. Gillette is approximately 70 miles away.

For information regarding fine accommodations, visit Devils Tower Lodge and New Haven Bed and Breakfast.