The original ranch house, constructed of adobe, was well maintained through the years with wood burning stoves in each room. Sammis' bedroom suite seemed a little out of place and out of time, but that was because it was brought across the Santa Fe Trail by her great-grandfather a century before.

"Born to be a ranch woman, she (Sammis) attended college, then taught school while managing the ranch until 1972,” Coker said. “A community leader, Gretchen was the first woman to be president of the Northern New Mexico Livestock Association, first woman on the Cimarrón School Board and first woman chair of the Colfax County Soil and Water Conservation District," reads the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame biography of Sammis.

About her fellow honoree and friend, Gobble, the Museum and Hall of Fame is just as generous.

"Ruby can be described in many terms: accomplished horsewoman, trick rider, roping champion, rodeo queen, movie actress, and ranch foreman. Raised on her family’s Arizona ranch, she learned to ride at age three on burros and mastered roping shortly after. Beginning her rodeo career as a trick rider, Ruby switched to roping competitions, quickly winning several awards and championships. Always a capable ranch hand, Ruby made use of her versatile talents as foreman of the Chase Ranch," her bio reads.

Ed Pease, president of the Chase Ranch Foundation, noted that the Philmont Ranch, owned by the Boy Scouts of America, has the experience and resources to preserve the history of the ranch and the legacy of the women who made it successful in modern times.

“Philmont has decades of experience doing exactly the things she wanted done – preserving historic structures, managing high-quality museum collections, creating educational programs through living history presentations of New Mexico and American Southwest history," Pease said.

The agreement between the Philmont and the ranch foundation calls for no money exchange. In return for maintaining the facilities in good order, the scout ranch can utilize the land for scouting programs, establish a museum in the main ranch house, and will develop educational programs for both the scouts and the general public.

Officials say it is possible the ranch may be ready for its first public visitors next year.


Also of interest:

What happens to your ranch/livestock in a divorce?

Drought, feed costs influence livestock markets in 2013

Drought limits 2013 hay supplies