Preservation of the Crail Ranch began in the late 1970s as a grassroots effort of a group of women and men from the rapidly growing Big Sky, Montana resort area. Naming themselves the Gallatin Canyon Historical Society, and affiliating with the larger Gallatin County Historical Society, they met during the early 1980s. Early members included Judy Onslow, Howard Alverson, Bob Donovan, Paula Halverson, Susie Weir, Oralee Alverson, and Nancy Cooke. Through their efforts, the buildings and grounds of this exemplary Montana homestead were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

To continue the work of this early group, the Historic Crail Ranch Conservators were established in 2006 as a committee of the Big Sky Community Organization, an IRS 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation. See our list of Donors below.

The mission of the Historic Crail Ranch Conservators is to develop an awareness and appreciation for the Crail Ranch, to preserve and maintain it as a heritage property, and to promote it as an educational resource of the Big Sky community, Gallatin County, the State of Montana, and the Great American West.


Anne Marie Mistretta, HCRC Chair, has been active with Crail Ranch preservation since 2003. Anne Marie retired from Big Sky’s school district, where as the Superintendent/Principal, she was instrumental in expanding the district to include Lone Peak High School. Anne Marie and husband Jerry raised 4 children, and have 6 grandchildren. Full time Big Sky residents, they volunteer with several local non-profit initiatives.  Anne Marie enjoys fishing and skiing.



Phyllis Breeden, HCRC Secretary, and her husband, Bill, are original Montanans and Montana State University graduates. Phyllis taught elementary school in Alaska for 37 years, including several years in remote Alaska Native villages. She and Bill always planned to return to Montana, and because they love the outdoors and all it has to offer, Big Sky was the perfect choice.  Phyllis was a Big Sky Resort Mountain Host for 8 years. She served as an executive board member of the Gallatin Canyon Women’s Club for 6 years, and is a volunteer at the Big Sky Community Library.



Margaret Leeper lived in Fairfax County, Virginia for 40 years where she taught elementary school and served as a Reading Specialist.  She and her husband John bought a condo in Big sky in 1990 and thus became seasonal visitors for many years.A home purchased in Bozeman brought them back to Montana on a permanent basis.. After living there for 10 years, they bought a home in Big Sky and one in Englewood, Florida allowing them to enjoy both wonderful places.Two sons, their wives and two grandchildren live on the east coast. Margaret likes skiing, hiking golf, tennis, camping and learning about early life in the Gallatin Canyon.


Carol ThoresenCarol Thoresen retired from MSU Bozeman as a science educator. Her 40 year career included over 20 years as a chemistry instructor, followed by work on a series of NSF grants, and 10 years as director of the innovative Master In Science and Science Education (MSSE) program.  She recently moved to Big Sky where she enjoys hiking and skiing.


Major Donations 2017

Anonymous Foundation Grant (Indiana)
Buck and Helen Knight Foundation
Yellowstone Club Community Foundation
Gallatin Canyon Women’s Club
The Glore Foundation
The Harold Sweatt Foundation
Humanities Montana
Montana History Foundation

Professional Consultants

Mike Durant, Durant Construction
Herb Davis (Vintage Fence Builder)
Sharon Huntley Kahn and Kristin Kern for Homesteads To Huntley
Glenniss Indreland, Imagecrafter
Outlaw Partners
Alan McLain of Big Sky Landscaping
Jan Weber, Crail Ranch Coordinator
Big Sky Community Organization
Big Sky Landscaping
Big Sky Owners Association
Jennifer Mohler and Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance

Corporate and Business Supporters

Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Center
Big Sky Community Organization
Big Sky Owners Association
ACE Hardware – Big Sky
Big Sky Landscaping
Lone Mountain Ranch
Durant Construction
Gallatin River Task Force
Herb Davis
Horse of a Different Color
Roxy’s Market
JP Woolies
Hungry Moose Market
Olive B’s/Jennie Castle Bibbins
Outlaw Partners
Grizzly Outfitters
Willow Boutique
Warren Miller Preforming Arts Center
Riverhouse Grill
BlueSmoke BBQ

Crail Ranch Active Volunteers 2017

Anne Marie Mistretta
Linda Meade
Phyllis Breeden
Jan Bernards
Woody Burt
Jamie Hamm
Lance Krieg
Cindy Larsen
Darius Larsen
Betsy McFadden
Devin Milsop
Linda Nell
Ann Wilson
Susie Leach
Margaret Leeper
Jerry Mistretta
Jack Luechtefeld
Bill Breeden
Dave Bickerstaff


Sharon Huntley Kahn; Donor and Homesteads To Huntley co- producer/financial sponsor
Kristin Kern; Artifact donor and Homesteads To Huntley co- producer/financial sponsor
Maude Glore/Glore Foundation; Financial Donor and project sponsor
Bill and Jennifer Reed; Financial Donors and project sponsors
Perk and Marilyn Hoecker; Donors
Jerry Mistretta; Financial and artifact donor
Anne Marie Mistretta; Financial and artifact donor and Homesteads to Huntley producer/director/scriptwriter
Woody Burt; Financial and artifact repair donor
Al and Jane Lockwood; Donors
Linda Meade/Jack Luechtefeld; Donors
Rick and Jamie Hamm; Donors
Steve and Carolyn Jones; Donors
Barbara and Ken Kaufman; Donors
Gloria Hassman; Donor
Kevin and Jane Stump; Donors
Steve and Libby Maus; Donors
James and Cynthia Jorgenson; Donors
Kenwood Ward; Donor
Lance and Sheila Krieg; Donors
Blue Ribbon Builders; Donors
Bill and Phyllis Breeden; Donors
Wayne and Ginger Lee; Donors
Jack and Carol McGuire; Donors
Victor and Kathleen Mossotti; Donors
Martha Crocker; Donor
Marcus and Patty Dash; Donors
Warren and Brammie Cook; Donors
Duncan and Eva Patten; Donors
Joel and Patty Scrafford; Donors
Jim and Kathy Scott; Donors
James and Yvonne Bell; Donors
Larry and Carol Woodward; Donors
Jim and Jan Bernards; Donors
Charles and Sandra Dreisbach; Donors
Dola Farlow and Rick Smith; Donors
David and Marianne Gasser; Donors
Gary and Ginna Hermann; Donors
Bob and Pat Kimmel; Donors
John and Trish Loomis; Donors
Al and Chris Malinowski; Donors
Stephanie McMahon and Steve Dawson; Donors
Sally Moskol; Financial and artifact donor
Ellie Nolan; Donor
Bob and Terry Scott; Donors
Jeff and Karen Strickler; Donors
Rachel and Les Waldow; Donors
Randy and Beth Van Horn; Donors
Audrae Coury; Donor
William and Kim Madison; Donors
Joan Heimsch; Donor
Wayne and Marilyn Hill; Donors
Connie Barton; Donor
Roger and Carolyn Brislawn; Donors
Jake and Katie Grimm; Donors
Joan Hoff; Donor
Kathryn House; Donor
Ronald Kurz; Donor
Janet Lampe; Donor
Margaret and John Leeper; Donors
DeWitt and Jane Ward; Donors
Kevin and Carol Callahan; Donors

JOIN Historic Crail Ranch Conservators

We are actively seeking new members for the Historic Crail Ranch Board of Conservators and general volunteers with an interest in local history.  Whether you wish to work on history projects, pitch in at our summer events, or just help out with a donation, contact us at 406-993-2112 or email to

Donations are tax-deductible and may be sent to:
Historic Crail Ranch
P.O. Box 161315
Big Sky, MT 59716