|The Quarter Circle V Bar Brand|
Since the Orme School was founded in 1929, our logo has been the Quarter Circle V Bar, an historic cattle brand. For generations of students, it is the beloved symbol of their school. In ages past, both the School and the Ranch were often known simply as the "Quarter Circle V Bar."
The brand was introduced by George Whitson, who in 1878 bought the homestead of sheepherder George Hance and switched to cattle. In the 1880s, Whitson built a simple board-and-batten house with neither frame nor foundation. The Orme School began in that humble abode, which still stands as the oldest building on campus (now the Head of School's office).
In the red floor of that building, you can see the logo etched by the School's
co-founder Charles H. Orme, Senior, affectionately known to students as
"Uncle Chick." The brand is still used to mark the cattle of the Orme Ranch, our community neighbor.
Today, this cherished icon appears in all sorts
of places both on and off campus, from the school flag and topographic maps to gates,
chimneys, fireplace andirons, glass doors, chairs, stained glass
windows, and even jewelry.
A colorful story is told about the evolution of the brand, although it may be apocryphal. It is said to have been derived from an earlier brand representing an upside down kettle bail (the curved wire handle of a bucket). Cowboys found it hard to draw a curve with the running irons of the day and corrupted it to a V shape. But that was too easy for rustlers (cattle thieves) to alter, so a bar was added underneath. Finally, to further deter rustlers, Whitson added a quarter circle to the top. Or so the story goes.
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