Founded in 1947
The 542-acre dude ranch came into existence when, in 1947, Colonel Jack Lapham purchased it from the original Polish settlers. Jack’s last name is accredited for ‘L’ in ‘Flying L’.
Lapham, a retired Air Corps Colonel, had a vision to create a place where modern people could go and find themselves lost in time. The Colonel introduced an airstrip and instructed his own flight school at the ranch.
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Frank Lloyd Wright
The original Villas and Pilot’s Lounge, were designed by associates of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Villas were intently designed to resemble grounded aircraft. The Villas, when viewed aerially, truly exemplify that of aeronautical design. Depicted below, The Villas were originally constructed
The grand opening of the Flying L Guest Ranch was a spectacular event. Using his powerful connections, Colonel Lapham organized to host a ‘Ranch & Aviation’ themed fashion show. Industry-leading fashion designers such as Stanley Marcus, the co-founder of Neiman Marcus, designed stylish aeronautic and cowboy-oriented apparel exclusively for the event. Journalists and photographers from LIFE magazine attended and later published an article pertaining to the success of the show. Experience a first-hand glimpse of the event in the photos below.
The Ranch’s guests have included John Wayne, Slim Pickens, Willie Nelson, Tex Ritter, Jim Reeves, Ray Price, Buck Owens, Chill Wills, and Robert Fuller. The television show The Cisco Kid even filmed an episode at the Ranch.
In 2013, Flying l Guest Ranch was purchased by long-time employees. The current owners have placed new emphasis on uncovering and appreciating the rich history of the Ranch. Restoration of the Pilots’ Lounge and T-Hangars have already begun. You can become a part of the Ranch’s rich aeronautical history by becoming a member of our Pilot’s club.
Remembering Colonel Jack Lapham
In 1956, the great airman passed away due to a fatal plane crash. The Colonel’s Quarters and the Lapham’s Lodge were named so to commemorate Colonel Jack Lapham. May his memory forever carry on at the Flying L Guest Ranch.