• Red cliffs descend into the water of Bighorn Canyon

    Bighorn Canyon

    National Recreation Area MT,WY

Eddy Hulbert

Eddy Hulbert's tools
Eddy Hulbert's tools at the blacksmith shop in Hillsboro
NPS (Fleming)
 

“Parents wishing to secure for their boys a real outing amidst refined surroundings, can send them to Cedarvale with the fullest assurances that no bad influences or acquaintances can enter their lives while here…The moral tone of the place is high and will be maintained.” - Advertisement for Cedarvale Dude Ranch

Edmund “Eddy” Hulbert was born in Chicago in 1898. He lost his mother at the age of two and his father passed away just over a decade later. Now orphaned at the age of 13, it is believed that Eddy’s great aunt saw one of Doc Barry’s ads for the Cedarvale Dude Ranch as a place that unaccompanied boys could come and stay. Eddy was soon on his way to Kane, Wyoming where the Barry’s picked him up. Mrs. Barry, after hearing of the boy’s troubles from friends’ back east, immediately took the boy under her wing.

Amazing Talent
It is thought that his aunt paid for Eddy’s stay at the ranch, but he was soon making his own way. He first gained experience working with metals by helping Doc Barry work on the engines that propelled the motorboats plying the waters of the Bighorn. He seemed to have a knack for fixing things. It was soon noticed that he could just look at a horses hoof and make a horseshoe that fit it perfectly without any measurements. Eddy did blacksmithing for the ranch, as well as neighbors on the Dryhead.

No one knows for sure, when or how Eddy learned the art of silversmithing. He occasionally went to visit an uncle in Denver who some believed had learned the craft in a Colorado prison. A how to book was also found among Eddy’s possessions at the time of his death. It does not matter how he learned the craft, because he was a natural at it. His work was sold at several different guest ranches, displayed in local stores, auctioned at the Medicine Wheel Bar in Lovell, and sold in catalogs. He also made many belt buckles as prizes for local Rodeos.

A Dedicated Life
People remember hearing the pinging and panging from Eddy’s shop as he worked on wagon wheels and silver. Yet his duties were not isolated to that shop. Like any job, he had other responsibilities at Hillsboro. He helped with the livestock and haying on the ranch. The stud barns and corral is where Doc Barry kept his stallions. Eddy kept the horses fed, the fences mended, and horses shod.

Eddy lived at Hillsboro for most of his life. One July day in 1960 he was found slouched over his workbench, probably from a heart attack. His wife, with help from a neighbor, put him in their jeep and started the two hour trip to Lovell. He died on the way.

Did You Know?

Spotted Bat resting at the Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center, photo by J. Ryan

The Spotted bat, Euderma maculatum, echolocation calls are audible to the unaided human ear. They are listed as a sensitive species of concern in Montana and Wyoming. More...