2019 JAN FEB DOWN COUNTRY ROADS MAGAZINE DCR Jan.Feb.2019 web - Page 19

A scrap of newspaper dated 1885 sticks to the log wall of the original homestead house on the ranch. The original homestead house, left, is where Jim and Brenda lived when they first moved to the ranch. Right is the stone building built by Jim’s great-uncle Mark. The inscription with the date of construction above the door of the stone house. This cabin, which was the original homestead house of Jim Lintz’ great-great-grandmother, was moved to the family camp- ground where it now serves as a bath house. That­year­they­sold­$20,000­worth­of­Christmas­trees.­ “I­was­only­making­$10,000­a­year­teaching­school,”­he said.­ For­the­next­18­years­the­Lintzes­sold­about­1,400­Christmas trees­each­year.­Initially­they­cut­all­the­trees­from­their­own property,­but­later­began­buying­trees­from­surrounding­ranches and­the­U.S.­Forest­Service.­ Doing­all­the­work­themselves,­Jim­and­Brenda­would­pull into­an­area­and­cut­100­pine­and­spruce­trees­in­a­couple­of hours.­Paying­other­landowners­and­the­Forest­Service­about $3­per­tree,­they­would­sell­them­for­an­average­of­$20­a­tree, with­the­price­varying­due­to­height.­ “That­sort­of­carried­us­every­year­for­several­years,”­said Lintz.­ Another­enterprise­that­helped­support­the­ranch­over­the years­was­a­campground­along­Highway­79­south­of­Hermosa. In­the­late­1980s­the­Lintzes­bought­a­nearby­500-acre­ranch and­built­the­campground­on­the­property.­­ The­campground­was­successful­and­became­a­favorite­of Sturgis­Rally­bikers,­but­when­the­highway­was­widened­to four­lanes­the­campground­was­in­the­new­right-of-way,­so­the Lintzes­sold­it­to­the­state.­ That­didn’t­deter­a­group­of­about­30­bikers­who­had­been staying­at­the­campground­since­about­1990,­however.­The group­comes­back­every­year­and­stays­in­the­family­camp- ground­on­the­ranch.­The­ashes­of­one­of­those­men­who­died several­years­ago­were­scattered­on­the­hill­overlooking­the ranch.­ Even­though­the­campground­on­the­highway­is­now­his- tory,­while­it­was­in­operation,­it­gave­birth­to­yet­another­Lintz enterprise­that­has­become­a­local­institution.­ Pizza & Picnics “A­friend­of­mine­was­selling­pizza­out­of­an­old­trailer house­near­Oglala­Dam­just­this­side­of­Pine­Ridge,”­said­Lintz.­ The­friend­kept­inviting­Jim­to­come­down­and­try­out­the pizza­recipe­and­he­finally­gave­in­and­made­the­trip.­ “It­was­the­best­pizza­I­ever­ate,”­he­exclaimed.­ So­the­Lintzes­started­selling­pizzas­at­the­campground.­ “We­could­cook­only­six­pizzas­an­hour,”­said­Lintz,­“so­we were­at­capacity­of­people­we­could­serve.”­­ With­limited­seating­and­baking­capacity­and­without­even so­much­as­a­sign­on­the­highway,­the­pizza­became­popular with­locals.­An­official­of­Mt.­Rushmore­Telephone­Co.­would come­in­about­once­a­week­and­feed­his­crew.­On­one­of­those occasions,­he­and­Lintz­had­what­turned­out­to­be­a­fateful­con- versation. “I­told­him­I­was­selling­the­campground­and­wasn’t­going to­build­a­new­one,”­said­Lintz.­ In­the­next­breath­he­told­the­man,­“I’m­sort­of­looking­for a­place­to­put­the­pizza.” “We’re­sort­of­looking­for­a­place­to­build­a­building­for­the phone­company,”­he­replied.­­ “I­said,­‘When­you­find­it,­keep­us­in­mind,’”­said­Lintz, “‘and­we’ll­add­our­pizza­place­to­it.’” Time­passed­and­not­much­more­was­said­about­the­idea, but­three­years­later­Lintz’s­phone­rang­at­Christmastime.­It was­the­phone­company­man’s­son­from­Minneapolis. “He­said,­‘Dad­just­died­of­cancer­and­on­his­deathbed­he made­us­promise­to­build­your­pizza­place,’”­recalls­Lintz.­“I said­I­didn’t­want­to­get­back­into­it,­but­my­son­did.” At­that­point­the­pizza­recipe­and­the­business­was­turned over­to­son­Brian­and­Lintz­Bros.­Pizza­was­born.­ DOWN COUNTRY ROADS 19