Manufacturers: McNicol China and Wellsville China
User: Dude Rancher Lodge – Billings, Montana
Date of examples: 1950 – 1960s
Notes: From Wikipedia: "The Dude Rancher Lodge is a motel in Billings, Montana, on the National Register of Historic Places. Known as 'Billings' most unique motel,' it was built in 1950 with a Hollywood-western style theme inside and out with many custom features, most original to the building. Owned for over 40 years by the family corporation of its original owners, with a single change of ownership in 1992, the motel and its attached restaurant is still in operation today (2023) and looks much as it did when originally constructed."
From a plaque in the Dude Rancher Lodge about its listing on the National Register of Historic Places is the following information: In 1950, "Billings' businessman Percy Goan and his wife Annabel worked with the well-known Billings architectural firm of Cushing and Terrell to develop a design that harkened back to the ranch houses of the Montana frontier. The design integrated bricks salvaged from the old St. Vincent's Hospital and wood beams from a recently demolished mining company.
"The rustic Ranch style motel displays weeping brick mortar, full-length porches in the center parking area, and guest rooms with wood-paneled doors. Annabel Goan cleverly designed the interior, which features knotty pine paneling, decorative lampshades, custom-built western-style furniture, and carpeting with the brands of local ranchers who invested in the project. An added treat was The Stirrup coffee shop, which served mouth-watering meals in a western atmosphere."
Again, from Wikipedia: "The second and current owner of the Dude Rancher is Virginia Carlsen, who purchased the motel in 1992. Carlsen was originally an engineer and purchased the motel to have her own business."
Tan body china with Western cattle brands in dark brown placed around the rims of plates, platters, bowls, cups, etc. Some pieces have the name "Dude Rancher Lodge" and location "Billings Montana" in matching dark brown block letters. Platters (shown above) have a Western drawing of cowboys at a chuck wagon in matching brown. One smaller plate (shown above) has a bucking bronco illustration in the well.
Photo of china grouping: Rodric Coslet
Photo of Wellsville plate: Ed Babcock
Photo of McNicol plate: Susan Phillips
Author: Ed Phillips