Historic cattle-dipping vat open house is Sept. 10

File photo

SUBLETTE COUNTY – At 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, an open house event will be held at the old Jack Creek Cattle Dipping Vat in Bondurant. The public is invited to attend.

Built in 1936 by local ranchers in response to a quarantine notice for scabies, the dipping vat design is highly unusual because it was built to literally dip (dunk) a single cow at a time. The rather odd contraption is located on Forest Service land in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, a site chosen because it was central to the ranchers involved and this was to be a community facility.

Over the last 80-plus years, the 15-foot-tall wood structure deteriorated and partially toppled over. In the last two years, however, the main portions were partially reconstructed by the Sublette County Historic Preservation Board so that it would remain as a visual landmark and be enjoyed as an historic interpretive site.

At the upcoming open house, a brief history presentation will be given at 1 p.m., and visitors can inspect the dipping vat and newly installed interpretive sign. A meal, with Sommers Hereford hamburgers and a picnic lunch provided will follow the presentation. Hamburgers will be grilled until all gone.

To reach the open house location, from Highway 189/191 mile marker 143.7 in Bondurant near the Forest Service’s Hoback Guard Station, take the Jack Creek Road (County Road 23-108) east for 3.5 miles. Follow the signs. This is a remote site and carpooling is strongly recommended.

The dipping vat restoration and interpretive site project is a collaborative effort of the Sublette County Preservation Board, the Bridger-Teton National Forest Big Piney Ranger District, and Friends of the Bridger-Teton.