The Ranch, Cou Falls, Iowa 1960s
This stylish menu cover was perused by customers of the Ranch Supper Club in Cou Falls, Iowa, in the 1960s. With its marvelous fonts and elegant illustration – the artist’s initials FS are to the right – it’s a great example of menu design.
The Ranch Club was opened in 1939 – converted from Cou Falls’s old general store that was constructed in 1903 – by CD ’Skinny’ and Laura Schlesselman. The couple had previously run a private club called the Redman during Prohibition, where patrons could drink liquor and socialize.
When the Schlesselmans retired in 1947, their son and daughter-in-law CR and Freda, took over. They retired in 1986 and the Ranch’s next owners were Mary and Bill Brecht, followed by Gary Palas and Sandee Gandara.
The restaurant closed in 2004, victim of a lacklustre local economy.
The Ranch building was turned into a church in 2005 but you can still see old black and white photos of the restaurant – it had wonderful cowboy murals on the walls – on the internet, as well as the original 1903 general store.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.