A Schauf Family Tradition

Since 1952 our family has provided lodging and dining to guests from around the world visiting Glacier National Park.  Les, Edna and their two sons Keith and Steve, traveled from Washington after trading their dairy farm and settled here near the base of the Rocky Mountains at Bison Creek Ranch.  The decision to uproot and come east to Montana was made by Les and Edna after they’d visited for a time and stayed at Bison Creek.  Back then there was a two story log lodge, no running water, wood provided heat for all buildings, outhouses were the only bathroom option, and a wood fired hot water tank provided warm water for the bath house.  But that was before the fire.  During the spring of 1960 fire consumed and destroyed Bison Creek’s old lodge and left the dining room to ruin. But, our family was not detoured, and quickly rebuilt the structure which currently holds our nine table restaurant, and opened that same year for the summer visitors.

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Bison Creek, 1970’s

 

Keith, Edna, Les, Steve

Keith, Edna, Les, Steve

 

Edna in old BC lodge

Edna, Old BC kitchen, 1954

Bison Creek offered Edna’s fried chicken, moonlight steak fries and horse back riding as well as lodging for guests and family visiting the area.  Keith and Steve helped around the ranch with whatever job presented itself.  Modern technology like plumbing and electricity made its way to Bison Creek and before too long each cabin was fit with bathrooms, running hot water, natural gas for heat, and electricity for power.  The 1970’s brought on the construction of the three A-frames adding more lodging and more guests.  Les, Keith and Steve built these with the intention of being able to house larger groups with a small kitchen in each one.

The Restaurant at Bison Creek has been serving Edna’s Fried Chicken from the beginning.  If it weren’t for the chicken we wouldn’t be here and we’re planning on cooking chicken some more.  Of course, you can’t run a restaurant on chicken alone.  Montana has some great beef, and we are proud to serve it.  Steaks have always been a part of the menu from sirloins and ribeyes to chicken fried steak and buffalo burger steak, we like to cook ’em.  Rainbow trout and the Shrimp Schaufski are a staple on the menu for seafood, but from time to time we’ll get some locally caught whitefish.  Not too long ago every meal came with ALL the fixin’s.  Everyone who came to eat enjoyed home-made soup, salad, fresh baked bread, vegetable, entree, and ice cream for dessert.  However, not everyone wants a full meal, so to accommodate changing times, we’ve made our menu easier to get what you want.  The full meal option is still available for those who crave a bit of the past.  We make most of our food from scratch.  Soups, sauces, breads, home-made desserts, original entrees, and our ice cream.  Toss as little as possible and use what we can.  It makes for some great food, but certainly takes a lot of work.

Summers at Bison Creek have always been a busy time.  With only a small window of time allowed by the seasons, we’ve always tried to fit in as much as possible.  During the winters our minds blossom with ideas of grandeur of what Bison Creek ‘could’ be, and after the holidays pass our attention shifts to how to try and execute these visions.  However during spring thaw, inevitably, something goes awry and demands our immediate attention.  Be it a burnt down lodge, blown over garage, or replacing 40 year old septic lines.  All of the magical plans thought of throughout the long winter seem to get tossed by the wayside to make sure that the pipes can provide water or the heaters can make it warm at night for the guests who’ve already made reservations.  And that’s ok.  We’ve learned that we aren’t able to do it all, but what we have come up with is pretty darn special and all our own.  With every new generation we hope to continue evolving with the times as best we can.  Things out here may be a bit rough around the edges, but it’s honest, and we can live with that.

Keith & Nancy

Keith & Nancy

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Jess and Aaron Wedding

Tuli,Ems,Beatrice

Grandchildren: Tuli, Emmett, and Beatrice

Molly

Molly

Over the years a lot has changed.  Grand children have become adults and had kids of their own, and kids have become grandparents.  Ideas have come and gone, some worked, some not so much.   The best idea, however, is continuing to thrive with every new member and each new summer season, and that was the idea to come to Montana and leave the dairy cows behind.

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~Contact us~
 20722 US Hwy 2 West ~ East Glacier, Montana ~ (406) 226-4482
reservations@bisoncreekranch.com

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