Double RR Ranch
The Double RR Ranch
History of Ranch
The Double RR Ranch is a family owned business with the 3rd generation currently managing the operations. The Ranch was developed by Margaret Reeves after her husband Dayton Reeves was injured in an automobile accident. The dairy farm operation had to be terminated as Dayton could no longer do any work. After the auction selling all livestock and machinery, the property was idle. Margaret wanted to do something for the young people of the Belding and Smyrna area and the dairy barn was empty so Margaret had it cleaned out and rebuilt as a dance hall and banquet room.
Margaret and Dayton took on a partner as Dayton's background were dairy cows and they were planning to have horses. Bob Reed joined the group and plans became a reality. However, Mr. Reed became uncomfortable and broke off from the group.
The barn was remodeled in the spring of 1959 and Margaret had a Grand Opening August 1st. At that time 8 saddle horses were purchased for trail riding purposes along with several canoes to use on the Flat River that fronted the property for nearly a mile.
Square dancing was quite popular at the time and Margaret added sock hops for the teenagers, sock hops were also popular for the teenagers at that time. More activity was needed to support the business. A plan to build campsites on the river became reality with the addition of 22 campsites, all rustic only a table and fire ring were on the sites. A hand pump for water and Pit toilets were a nice addition but hardly adequate.
The Bunkhouse with six rooms and four "A" Frame Chalets were also added and now we were able to have a captive audience to support the activities that were available at the Ranch. After a few years, overhead electric was added to twenty-two campsites and a building with flush toilets was constructed.
Margaret and Dayton's only son Richard and his wife Mary Ellen took over the managing of the business in 1968. Richard wanted to build a golf course at this time but he did not have the funds. But he kept the desire and moved on to other things.
Campers were becoming unhappy with the long distance from the campground to the swimming pool at the Bunkhouse, so we expanded once again with another shower building, an additional swimming pool, and eighty more campsites with electric and water.
With a total of 100 camping sites, the camping part of the business began to grow at a faster rate.
In 1998 Richard's dream of building a golf course on the Ranch became a reality and construction of our 9 hole golf course began with several unexpected problems and delays which pushed back our opening until 2002.
We had to hold back with improvements after the bad start for the golf course for a few years but we hope to be making several upgrades to the campground soon. In 2014 we added another 24 sites with 50 amp electric with sewer and water sites were added. An addition to our camp store was also added. Opening in 2017 we will open additional handicap accessible restroom and shower facilities at the camp store building.
Now Steven, Richard and Mary Ellen's youngest son has taken over as general manager of the Double R.