Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

Western Heritage in Southwest Colorado: Ouray County Ranch Tour

Posted by Karen Avery on Sun, Aug 14, 2011 @07:09 AM

Celebrate Western Heritage in Ouray County at Historic Centennial Ranch and Raise Funds for Ouray County Historical Society During the Fall Foliage Season!

centennial ranch barnLove Western Heritage?  Fascinated by Ranching History? Want to show your children how life on a working ranch used to be?  Join us at the Centennial Ranch, 2 miles south of Colona on US 550 just 20 miles north of Ouray.  Bring the family and enjoy a golden autumn day on an authentic Western cattle ranch!

This year, as a benefit for the Ouray County Historical Society (OCHS), the owners of the Centennial Ranch have opened the ranch to the public for two days (September 24 & 25 from 11am - 4pm).

This ranch was placed in a conservation easement through the Colorado Cattleman's Land Trust in 1994 in order to conserve its open space, wildlife habitat and traditional ranching lifestyle.  

The ranch was homesteaded in 1879 and was owned by one family for over 100 years – hence the name “Centennial” Ranch. Purchased by the current owners in 1992, all existing structures were refurbished and restored to capture the romance of the western traditions and heritage that are so rich in this part of southwestern Colorado. A few new structures were added including a rustic line cabin right on the river, an authentic replica of cabins often built along the perimeter of large ranches.

The 400-acre property occupies a rugged stretch of the Uncompahgre River  canyon. Here, the legacy of Western Slope ranching is preserved in every detail: from the spruce-log line cabin to the gleaming bits and spurs hanging in the tack room of the Centennial barn.

Visitors will be provided a 20 page handout with continuous self-guided tours that showcase meticulously restored and recreated structures. Those include the rancher's stunning, timber-frame home, detailed with medieval-style, hand-forged ironwork. The line cabin is an authentic cowboy shelter, complete with cast-iron cookstove and rustic furnishings. 

Visitors also will tour the calving shed and the main barn, which houses draft horses and a trove of western relics and implements. All buildings were constructed with salvaged or recycled materials. The entire spread has been featured in the June 2004 issue of Architectural Digest.

A traditional simple cowboy cookout lunch is included in the price of admission including chili and hot dogs.  Admission is $15/adult ages 19 and under is FREE!  You can purchase tickets at the Centennial Ranch Gate the day of the event.  Centennial Ranch is located along US 550 about 2 miles south of Colona, just a few hundred feet south of mile marker 115.

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