Swett Ranch - Timeline for the Ranch and Greendale Area

Oscar and Emma in front of their Chevy pickup, the only automobile they ever purchased.  Photo courtesy of Nolan Toone.1890 – August 11, Oscar Swett born to Elizabeth and Lyman Johnson Swett.

1892 – December 10, Emma Osiek born.

1906 – June, the Forest Homestead Act signed.  The Green brothers file for a homestead in Greendale.

1907 – Oscar’s father dies in Vernal.  Oscar’s mother gives him $100, which he uses to purchase cattle. He grazes his herd in the Greendale area.

1909 – Elizabeth files a homestead claim for 151.5 acres.  Oscar and his brothers build a one-room cabin to prove up their claim.  Oscar meets Emma while riding cattle outside of Heber City.  Emma’s family moves to Vernal, courting begins.

1910 – Bill Green becomes ranger and runs an unofficial post office from his cabin.

1911 – Oscar files two claims adjacent to his mother’s for a total of 77 acres.

1912 – The Green River Ranger Station is built near the Swett homestead.  Oscar purchases a cabin from McKee Draw, disassembles it, and hauls it up to the ranch by horse-drawn wagon. He reassembles it as the one-room cabin.  Oscar builds the horse barn near his cabin.

1913 – January 20, Oscar marries Emma Osiek.  May 24, Oscar and Emma’s first child, Mary Elizabeth, is born in Vernal.

1914 – December 24, Oscar and Emma’s second child, Almey Thomas (Tom) is born in Vernal.

1915 – Elizabeth files for 8.5 more acres.

1917 – May 22, Oscar and Emma’s third child, Irma Eliza is born in Greendale.

1918 – Elizabeth sells her 151 acres to Oscar for $100 and moves back to Vernal.

1919 – Oscar builds the two-room cabin to provide more space for his family.  A schoolhouse is built between the ranger station and the Swett property.  May 27, Oscar and Emma’s fourth child, Myrle Augusta is born in Greendale.

1920 – Oscar builds the first blacksmith shop with lumber cut from his sawmill.  Wood shed built.

1921 – June 12, Oscar and Emma’s fifth child, Verla Farnsworth is born in Brush Creek.

1926 – June 12, Oscar and Emma’s sixth child Idabell is born in Vernal.

1929 – Ranger district headquarters officially moves to Manila.  Oscar and a carpenter build the five-room sawed log house.  October 8, Oscar and Emma's seventh child, Louis Lyman is born in Vernal.

1930s- Single-wire phone lines were brought to Greendale. The Swetts had the only phone in the area.

1932 – April 4, Oscar and Emma’s eighth child, Merne, is born in Greendale.

1933 – Tom brings home a Hudson Super Six automobile from Idaho. The car dies before making it back to the ranch. In time, Oscar recycles the parts for other uses on the ranch.

Oscar on his horse Snip (date unknown).  Photo courtesy of Nolan Toone.1934 – Forest Homestead Act ends.

1936 – August 9, Oscar and Emma’s ninth child, Wilda Beverly is born.

1940 – Hunters burn down the ranger station.

1941 – No longer in use, the schoolhouse is dismantled, shortened, and rebuilt as a work shop on the end of the horse barn by Oscar.

1942 – Oscar buys a Chevy pickup with cash, which allows for more frequent trips to Vernal; about once a month except during winter.

1940s- (early) Many of the outbuildings are constructed, including the milking barn, granary, second blacksmith shop, the lambing barn, cow barn, and the calf shelter.

1940s- (late) Louis Swett four-room home is constructed.

1950s- Water is piped into the five-room house.
Oscar buys a Delco generator to power the house.

1957 – Construction of Flaming Gorge Dam begins.

1960 – Electricity replaces the generator.

1960s- A modern bathroom is added to the five-room house.

1963 – Flaming Gorge Dam is completed.

1968 – The National Recreation Area is created. Grazing lands are reduced; making it difficult for the Swetts to operate the ranch.  Oscar dies. Emma is forced to sell the land and moves back to Vernal. A developer, Eggertsen, purchases it.

1971 – Emma dies.

1972 – The Forest Service purchases the ranch from Eggertsen after much dispute.