The Survey Team is Back on the Road!

Colorado Preservation is following its Purgatoire River Region survey with a subsequent project to further document and interpret the region’s homesteads. The project will include: National Register nominations, a publication interpreting the history of homesteading and associated historical themes for a general audience, oral history interviews to be shared via podcasts, and three driving tours following Hwy 350, Hwy 109, and Hwy 160.

A kick-off meeting and tour marked the official start of the homesteading project over the weekend. The day started with a productive meeting with the survey team, members of the local community, and the Architectural Survey Coordinator from History Colorado. The meeting then hit the road for a tour of historic sites in Otero County’s Higbee Valley. The final stop on the tour involved several hours of driving in and around the canyons of Las Animas County. With the final destination being the remote Villareal Homestead site. Having only been vacated in the mid-1980s, the stone, jacal, and adobe structures are in very good condition. This site is being looked at for a possible National Register nomination this fall.

Stay tuned for more photos and information about the Home on the Range project!


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Featured Project

4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at

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