History Lesson

Big Bar Guest Ranch is nestled in the rolling hills of the Cariboo where time has no meaning. The ranch dates back to 1933 when Harry Marriott and George S Harrison purchased the ranch (back then it was a cattle ranch) and started the OK Ranching Co Ltd.

The Harrison House, (where today’s guests enjoy relaxing in front of the stone fireplace) was built for George Harrison in 1936 to house his family, as well as any guests who may come visit from the coast.Harrison and Marriott sold the OK Ranch in the 1950’s to a family from Vancouver, the Squarrey’s. The family built the two older cabins that still remain at Big Bar today. They were originally built to accommodate their friends who came to visit.

As the Squarrey children grew and married and moved back to the coast, the ranch was left to a caretaker until Brian Gunn and his wife bought the ranch in 1989. Brian was an engineer and he and his wife were looking for a slower pace for themselves and their two boys. Their dream was to own a guest ranch, so they quickly built the Sagebrush inn and added two more cabins and four tipi’s to accommodate guests. In 1997 Brian Gunn sold the ranch to Anne Freeman, who ran the ranch for 10 years before selling it to Elise-Marie and Kresten Vestergaard, who lived in Denmark.

Elise-Marie and Kresten made their first visit to the Cariboo in 2006 where they stayed at Big Bar Ranch, which at the time was up for sale. Like so many others, the couple fell in love with the Cariboo, the land, wildlife and the ranch life. For them the ranch is about the passion for the cowboy way of life, and getting back to a simpler way of living. With the purchase of Big Bar Guest Ranch, the Vestergaard’s feel that they found their own little corner of heaven, which they want to share with people from all over the world.

Elise-Marie and Kresten still live in Denmark where they run their farm and a breeding facility for American Paint Horses. They come to their dream ranch as much as possible. They wish everyone a good time, with good food, good riding and great memories.