History of Malibu Dude Ranch


Allan "Doc" Detweiler and his wife Phyllis purchased the ranch property December 1, 2010 after learning the previous owner was up in years and wanted to sell, and a developer was interested in razing the 20 buildings and replacing them with a townhouse style residential community.

Malibu Dude Ranch was established back in 1928 on an 800-acre parcel and is the oldest authentic working dude ranch east of the Mississippi River. Over the years, it drew people from neighboring states who were looking for the Old West cowboy experience and horseback riding on woodland trails.

The original main lodge had burned down in October of 1973 but was rebuilt by Memorial Day in 1974. The massive two-story stone fireplace in the lobby was all that survived and still showcases the grand entrance today.

Doc, who "is" a practicing physician, had special ties to the ranch property. As a high-energy youngster, he was kicked out of kindergarten – twice! When his parents asked what it would take for him to behave in school, his response was that he wanted to "ride a horse!" He behaved good enough to be rewarded with a trip to the Malibu Dude Ranch at Milford in July of 1974, just two months after the newly constructed main lodge reopened.

He was drawn back to the tranquility of the mountaintop ranch and horseback riding over the years. Doc especially enjoys serene lake views in mornings and riding his horse through the woodlands. But, most of all, he enjoys spending time with Phyllis and their daughters Priscilla and Victoria away from computers and the fast-paced workplace.

Doc attributes that first summer visit to Malibu Ranch with early discipline to changing his future and led to his education to become a doctor of family medicine where he practices in Long Island, New York.

During 2011, extensive renovations have given all the buildings new life. The main lodge entrance took on a new look with new carpet and tile flooring. Beautiful marble sinks embellish renovated patron restrooms. The veranda got new brick base supports and columns that were enhanced with new western style railing. New wood rail fences were added to the grounds. A sanctioned arena and announcer stand was built and the ranch hosts professional rodeos and shooting competition events. Bleachers were added to seat the crowds.

The official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was held the Fourth of July holiday weekend 2011. The first professional rodeo in the Pocono region was held that weekend and ended with a dazzling display of fireworks.

During the last weekend in July, the Long Riders cowboy mounted shooting club of Long Island, New York hosted their Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association New York State Championship event in the arena.

The Detweiler family takes special pride in keeping our western heritage alive and making Malibu Ranch a destination resort for children and families to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside while getting equestrian experience from our seasoned wranglers.