In the fall of 1964, Mr. Herbert Allen and Donald H. Albrecht of Southern California, purchased the Crescent H Dude Ranch for 1 million dollars, The “Dude” was taken from the name and shortened to the widely recognized, Crescent H Ranch.
The new owners had unique plans for the guest ranch. They would establish the Crescent H Ranch as one of the finest fishing camps in the country. Local professional fly-fisherman, Vern Bressler, informed Mr. Albrecht that the riparian lands (land between the Snake River and the Ranch property) was home to some of the finest spring creeks in the country. Mr. Bressler was a longtime friend of Leigh Perkins, who owned and established the nationally recognized Orvis Fly-Fishing and Outfitting Company. After a few business meetings, while fishing the Crescent H spring creeks, Perkins agreed to partnership the Orvis Company’s name with the Crescent H Ranch. With seven miles of spring creeks, ponds and the magnificent Snake River, the Crescent H became North America’s original Orvis endorsed fly fishing Lodge.
The Liar’s Den is the notable establishment for the fly fishermen who visit the ranch. The fully stocked Orvis store, located on the ranch property, made fishing accessible and convenient for the fishing men and women. Guests returned to the Liar’s Den after a day on the river or creeks to share the stories of their favorite fishing spots or the size of their biggest catch of the day, hence the “Liar’s Den”.
The Crescent H vacation combined the old west lifestyle with a taste of four star treatment. Guests would dine in the historic lodge enjoying meals prepared by professional chefs. After a day of horseback riding or floating on the Snake River, they would return to their cabins, which had been cleaned and made up with wine and fruit for an afternoon refreshment. The guests enjoyed nights with bonfires, barbeques and music and a trip into Jackson for the weekly rodeo. On Wednesday mornings, the guests would ride horses down to the spring creeks for a traditional cowboy breakfast.
In 1997, Mr. John Thornton of Chattanooga, Tennessee purchased the Crescent H Ranch in a public auction for 52 million dollars. He continued to operate the guest ranch for three years. In addition, Mr. Thornton created a low-density development, which yielded 30-35 acre tracts. In 1999, he donated 22.5 million dollars worth of property to the Jackson Hole Land Trust in efforts to preserve the natural setting and wildlife of the historical land.
On the guest register in 1999 and again in early 2000 was the name of W. Allan Jones Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee businessman. Known in his hometown as an environmentalist and tree expert, Jones found the trees and beauty of Wyoming to his liking. He and his family had visited Jackson Hole on several occasions-enjoying the beauty of the area and the relaxing venue. So it was no surprise that Jones was looking for a possible family retreat when Thornton decided to sell the ranch.
Jones purchased the Crescent H Ranch on October 14, 2002. Allan, his wife Janie, and their children instantly fell in love with the serenity of the Jackson ranch. Jones, along with his staff and management team, re-established the Ranch as a fly-fishing destination venue until its purchase in 2009 by a family trust dedicated to the conservation of this exceptional property and the ranch’s scenic and wild lands.
In the past 85 years, the Crescent H property has been enjoyed by hundreds of visitors and present homeowners. Although having developed and changed with the times, the Crescent H relishes in the ambience and character of its momentous days. The traditions and western lifestyle of the Brown family and the Crescent Lazy H Ranch, remain present through the rustic guest cabins and the timeless stories hidden in the walls of the original Crescent H Lodge.