Someone hinted at that the other day.
They told me Bob Dylan had a ranch in Montana that was under the Zimmerman name.
You might recall that Bob Dylan’s real name was Robert Zimmerman until he legally changed it in August 1962, although he’d been using it for a year already.
So, when I hear something like Bob Dylan has a Montana ranch, I have to do some digging.
From what I found out, there’s 81 acres owned by Tom & Lori Zimmerman, and it’s just outside of Stevensville.
I’m not sure that’s the correct ranch, however, as I was told that Bob Dylan’s ranch is closer to Drummond.
I can find these property owners by looking at the Montana public and private land ownership lists.
I get the Zimmerman name from the Missoula West listings, but the Drummond area properties should be under the Missoula East listings, perhaps even the Elliston listings.
Alas, there is no Zimmerman name there.
So maybe that’s a dead end. Maybe the ranch is under a corporate umbrella-type name that Bob Dylan is using.
So I did some more digging and discovered that Bob Dylan’s ranch is actually the Harvey Creek Ranch, which is 23 miles to the west of Drummond.
The ranch is owned by Harvey Creek Ranch LLC and takes up 552 acres at the northernmost edge of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
The ranch is #216 in the property listings, and you can see it on the map here:
It’s just north of the property owned by the Marletto’s, west of the Jonas property, and east of the Weaver Trustee’s property.
The 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom log home on the property was built in 1996.
From the property records it looks like the ranch changed hands in August 1994 and then again in April 1995. The owners kept it until November 2005, at which point they sold the property to Bob Dylan.
To me it’s clear that Bob Dylan was so impressed with Montana after his July 2005 concert at the University of Montana’s Adams Center that he decided to buy some property close by.
He picked a really beautiful spot.
According to a 2013 PDF from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Department, the ranch is about 3 miles southwest of Bearmouth in Granite County and has a $62,000 Future Fisheries Program project located there.
The fishery was put in to protect westslope cutthroat trout as well as bull trout. “These native populations of fish are protected from invasion by non-natives by a man-made barrier at the outlet of a county road culvert,” the report tells us.
Harvey Creek is a tributary of the Clark Fork River and it’s a great place for supporting the genetically pure populations of westslope cutthroat trout that live there.
I like that Bob Dylan is helping out Montana fish with on his vast property.
In fact, I liked it so much I decided to take the 40-minute drive out to the ranch from Missoula to see what it looked like for myself.
What is Bob Dylan thinking when he comes to Montana?
I thought about this as I drove out to Bearmouth today.
I figure he’s on his endless tour and when a few dates pop up he’ll go to one of his many homes around the world.
For instance, this year he’s got some time off before things heat up on June 4. After that he’ll play for people until mid-July, then have a break until October.
It’s a good bet he’ll choose a time during late-summer to come to his Montana ranch.
I suspect he’ll fly into Missoula from wherever, perhaps rent a car from one of the places in the airport.
Maybe he has a car parked somewhere and just waiting for him, though I suspect it’d be a hassle keeping up on the oil changes and such.
Who knows. Either way, it’ll be onto I-90 to head east.
I wonder what he’s thinking when he’s driving past Turah and Clinton, on past Rock Creek and then Nimrod hot springs.
After that it isn’t long and he’s at Exit 138, pulling off onto Mullan Road to drive for a few miles until he gets to his locked gate.
That’s as far as I got today, for every turnoff on Mullan Road is marked “private property” and has a locked gate.
I don’t believe in trespassing so I just took a few photos of the general area.
It’s a nice place, butting up against the Sapphire Mountains, lots of cattle ranches around and great fishing streams as well.
I saw plenty of wetlands, many with ducks floating in them. Plenty of birch trees were showing bright green leaves, their white bark a stark contrast against the tall grasses all around.
I hope Bob Dylan enjoys the time he spends in Montana, and I hope he continues to play his music for people around the world.