Some recent posts on the local history Facebook page about the history of East Jewett Valley got me thinking again about Timberlane Ranch and the period when it was known as The Gabby Hayes Resort Ranch.
Like most people who grew up in the 50s, Gabby Hayes, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, and the great number of western stars and cowboy programs on TV were a great influence on me. I didn't live in this area as a child, but the memories of Roy, Dale, Gabby, Pat Brady, Gene, Hoppy, Clayton Moore and countless others never left my imagination. Knowing that our area had a connection to Gabby Hayes made me think of doing an MTHS program on the Gabby Hayes Ranch. I explained this in a letter that I wrote to Dale Evans Rogers in 1999 (Roy had passed away a year earlier in July of 1998.) Here is a copy of the text of that letter and the photo of Gabby that I sent to Mrs. Rogers.
I watched the mail like a kid waiting for cereal premium ordered with a box-top and "one thin dime" but none arrived before the date of the society's program at the East Jewett Fire House. My program was heavy on the cowboy TV shows with videos and music including songs by The Sons of the Pioneers and even the Olympics singing 'My Baby Loves the Western Movies." but was rather light on local history.
About a week after the program, I got a gracious reply from Mrs. Rogers. Here is a photo of her reply framed and in a place of Honor in our home.
The note reads:
Gabby Hayes was a wonderful person & artist.
He was a marvelous actor, and quite gifted.
Roy and I enjoyed and loved Gabby, his talents, and his beautiful character.
Thank you for asking!
Dale Evans Rogers
A year or two back, Carol Vanucchi kindly donated much of the materials I used for research and other material on Timberland Ranch to the Mountain Top Historical Society. The material is kept in the climate controlled and fire resistant Justine Hommel Archive Room.