Historic Crail Ranch


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

Meet Anne

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


Meet Phyllis

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

Meet Margaret

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 Thoresen

Meet Carol

Carol 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.

2018 Donors

Constance Barton
James & Yvonne Bell
Janice Bernards
Big Sky Resort Tax
Douglas & Jodean Bing
William & Phyllis Breeden
Woodruff Burt
Charles & Melanie Callander
Martha & Thomas Crocker
Patricia Doherty
Charles & Sandra Dreisbach
Gallatin Canyon Womens Club
The Glore Fund – Maude E. Glore
Thomas & Dee Hall
Rick & Jamie Hamm
Don Hanson
Gloria Hassman
Joan Heimsch
Gary & Virginia Hermann
Wayne & Marilyn Hill
Marilyn & BW Perk Hoecker
Kathy House
James L. Jones
James & Cynthia Jorgenson
Edward Kenwood
Frank, Kristin, Kelly Kern
Robert & Patricia Kimmel
The Buck & Helen Knight Foundation
Lance & Sheila Krieg
Ronald Kurz

Janet Lampe
Darius & Cynthia Larsen
Wayne & Flora Lee
John & Margaret Leeper
Albert & Jane Lockwood
John & Trish Loomis
William & Kim Madison
Richard & Elizabeth Maus
Elizabeth McFadden
Linda Meade & Jack Luechtefeld
Jerry & Anne Marie Mistretta
Montana History Foundation
Eleanor Nolan
Duncan & Eve Patten
Artem & Kimberly Pechischev
Sara Peterson
Michael & Andrea Scholz
Robert & Terry Scott
Kathleen Scott
Joel & Patty Scrafford
Jeffrey & Karen Strickler
Kevin & Jane Stump
Harold Sweatt Foundation
Carol Thoresen
Randy & Beth Van Horn
Rachel Waldow
Dewitt & Jane Ward
Larry & Carol Woodward
Yellowstone Club Community Foundation

Artifact Donors

The Burcalow Family
Jeremy Harder
Michael Hennessey
Kristin Kern
Michael Oshier

Community Partners & Agencies

AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region (National Corporation for National and Community Service)
Big Sky Community Organization
Big Sky Owners Association
Big Sky Water and Sewer
Gallatin Canyon Women’s Club
Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance
Gallatin River Task Force
Habitat For Humanity
Montana History Foundation


Phyllis Breeden
Doug Brengles
Woody Burt
Kayla Burton
Emily Casey
Lucia Damberg
Patricia Doherty
Ron Edwards
Phil Fluke
Alex Gabriel
Jamie Hamm
Rick Hamm
Rene Kraus

Lance Krieg
Cindy Larsen
John Leeper
Margaret Leeper
Al Lockwood
Jack Luechtefeld
Kass McCarthy
Betsy McFadden
Linda Meade
Anne Marie Mistretta
Jerry Mistretta
Jen Mohler

Linda Nell
Artem Pechischev
Sarah Peterson
Courtney Spitzner
Kathy Stinchon
Carol Thoresen
Beth Van Horn
Randy Van Horn
Ann Wilson
Sharon Winter