Historical Details

The Silver Cliff Ranch

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 03/20/1919

Have you ever taken the trip over to A.E. McFarlane's ranch? Well, you have missed something worthwhile.

You will see a finely kept place, with big, neatly painted barns and a drove of the prettiest cattle you ever laid eyes on. The fortunate few who are favored by a visit from A.E., every morning know the delights of milk that is just as nature made it, but their delight would be multiplied several fold if they could visit his model dairy. Talk about clean--the famous Dutch kitchen looks like a grease spot beside it-- and the cows are as clean as the dairy. Old-timers know all about the Silver Cliff ranch, for that is its real first name, but Johnnie newcomers know very little of the place.

To begin with, A.E. McFarlane, who now owns the ranch, came here in 1885 to take charge of the old Silver Cliff mine for his uncle, Hugh McFarlane. When he left Highland Park, Illinois, a letter addressed to Silver Cliff, Running Water or Lusk would come to the same postoffice, as the settlement then located about a mile west of the present townsite was known by all three names and located on the property of Roe Kingman, Ellis Johnson and Hugh McFarlane. When the railroad came in the summer of 1886 the town was moved to the present site. Hugh McFarlane operated the Silver Cliff mines at the time, and later thurned the property, together with the 160 acres north of the track, to his nephews, George and A.E. McFarlane. Later A.E. McFarlane bought George's interest and named the present ranch the Silver Cliff. This is where the Silver Cliff dairy is located, the house and barns being but a few steps from the old stone barn used by the Black Hills and Cheyenne stage lines run by Russell Thorp, Sr., father of Russell Thorp (now of Cheyenne). It was while getting out the stone for this barn that silver was discovered and the mines and settlement named Silver Cliff.

A.E. McFarlane has never lost faith in the Silver Cliff mines or the future of Lusk and Wyoming, and he is one of those rare individuals who place the welfare of the community above personal gain, for when the Illinois Pipe Line Company selected some of his choicest land as best suited for their tank farm, he sold it then at a price that was practically a donation. The soundness of his judgement is being daily vindicated.

(Editors Note--The Silver Cliff Dairy is now owned and operated by Bradley & Son, who purchased the ranch and stock from Mr. McFarlane. The dairy under the management of the Bradleys has maintained the high standard set by McFarlane, and has added much new equipment to the plant.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Historical A.E. McFarlane, One of Few Living Lusk Pioneers, Sent to Silver Cliff Mine by His Uncle 50 Years Ago View Record
Historical McFarlane, A.E., Pioneer View Record
Obituary McFarlane, Albert (02/02/1861 - 02/08/1948) View Record