Year Listed: 2014
County: Grand County
Construction Date: 1885
Threat When Listed: Demolition by Neglect – Vacant
The 320 acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch was homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line as well as a roadhouse for other travelers. 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.
When the ranch was sold in 1917, after the closure of Ford, Harry Larkin converted the property back into use as a cattle ranch. The 4 Bar 4 Ranch remained as a working ranch until approximately the late 1980s. Since that time the buildings have been vacant for over 20 years without any known maintenance.
With a lack of solid roofing materials the natural weather is degrading the integrity of the structures. The log walls are carrying the load and subsequently expanding outward forcing logs to come loose and offer no support to the upper floors or the remaining roofs of both buildings. The buildings may not continue standing after prolonged winters of heavy snow loads. In addition, the buildings will continue to settle into the ground, possibly toppling over either or both structures, with stabilization and additional footings.
The Stagecoach Homeowners Association owns the buildings and currently do not have the funding available to proceed with recommended preservation. A stabilization and exterior restoration would prevent the weather from further damaging the buildings and save them for future generations.