Western Ranch Gates

Wagons wheels are a popular addition to old farm and ranch gates in the Oklahoma countryside. This gate, which I saw near Morris, Oklahoma, has wagon wheels on the overhead bar as well as on the swinging gate and the side panels. Most true ranch gates don’t have a hinged gate to close, but rely on cattle gaps to keep livestock inside. Often the gates are built with pipe, painted and embellished with the brand of the ranch. I think of a ranch’s brand as a sort of logo.
 This gate is quite ornamental with figures of cows decorating the arch and a red wagon wheel gate with a large “S”. Perhaps the “S” is for the owner’s last name Smith, Stevens, Stokley, or Snider. Perhaps, it is the ranch name, something like the “Big S Ranch,” or the “Swinging S Ranch.” I can only guess. This gate is one of my favorites because it looks so friendly and inviting. It is east of Okmulgee.
This beautiful gate frames the western sky. I think its design says there are some hills and you see the land begin to roll off uphill from the center of the photo and right. The design has a modern feel to it and an optical effect that pulls your eye to the great wide open Oklahoma sky. Can you envision it with a rosy flame of a summer sunset behind it?
The Double “B” Ranch? Maybe the owners first names start with the letter “B” like Ben and Barbara. 
It’s hard to guess at this brand. It could be the Circle B Ranch. The gate and cross bar frame the sky too and makes the land feel open and unlimited.
Here is something I spotted near Haskell, Oklahoma. An old airport entrance gate.
It is a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, though looking a bit worse for wear. 
The half-circles build up like clouds and to set it off there are on each side whole circles set with spinners to look like airplane propellers. See below.
This next gate is located along Highway 16 north of Morris, Oklahoma. 
It looks like the owners had painted it red and later tried white. I
love the wagon wheel as a symbol of Oklahoma’s pioneer heritage. 
Notice the oil storage tanks behind the gate. Oil wells still dot the countryside out here.
I’m guessing this one is the Lucky B Ranch. 
It might be owned by the Browns or the Bullards or the Bryants.
 This green gate is northeast of Okmulgee, Oklahoma off Gun Club Road which turns off Highway 75 
north of town by the Best Western hotel. 
I don’t know what the “C” or the “M” stand for, but I like the little bell on the top 
of the gate.I didn’t check but this may be at the intersection of Gun Club Road and Prairie Bell Road. 
That would explain the bell.
Now for a famous one. Here is the gate of the quiet Allen Ranch near Bixby,
where long-horned cattle were once raised. Don’t you love the horns on the crossbar? Later, the ranch was used as a sort of wild west animal park. School children of the area were taken there on field trips. They were taken on hayrides or trail rides and sang with guitar strumming cowboys around campfires or drove through the acreage to see bison, longhorns, and exotics like zebras and camels. 
See the wagon wheel beside the gate?
If you are driving through Oklahoma watch for these ranches and their gates. 
It is a real slice of Americana.

Published by Elece

I am a photographer and a freelance writer. I write stories, poetry, gift books, and magazine articles––both print and online. Photographing children, places, and especially flowers is my hobby.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. I love all the gates at the ranches, and like you, I try to decide what the letters and symbols stand for. We will be looking for a place in Oklahoma in the next year – can't wait to see what we come up with 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: