Kay El Bar in Years
The first adobe building, the current Homestead House guest casita, was built as the ranch headquarters and a bunk house for the cattle wranglers. A number of adobe brick building were built over the years by Maricopa Indians who lived on the nearby reservation.
Just nine years after Lowdermilk started the ranch the first paying guests arrived. Kay El Bar was still a working cattle ranch then, but an enthusiastic newspaperman who had visited the ranch spread the word about the "authentic western experience" and soon paying guests started arriving.
Lowdermilk took a partner, Henry Warbasse, with the goal of developing a full-time dude ranch. The first structure they build was the large adobe lodge, which is still used to house guests. "
Kay El Bar became a full-time guest ranch. Most guests arrived by train at the Wickenburg station, where they were transported by Touring Packard to the ranch.
Romaine Lowdermilk, founder of Kay El Bar Ranch, dies at age 80. He became known as the "Father of the Arizona Dude Ranch" , first establishing Kay El Bar as a guest ranch and later starting other Arizona ranches. He had a second career as one of the first cowboy entertainers.
In recognition of its contribution to the State of Arizona, and for its historical significance, Kay El Bar Ranch was placed on the State Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Kay El Bar was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1979.
After many years as a guest ranch, Kay El Bar was converted back to a private ranch.
On the 100th anniversary of welcoming the first paying guests, Kay El Bar resumes operation as a year-round guest ranch.