Native American Arboreal Wickiup and Teepee Sites

Year Listed: 2003
County: Statewide
Construction Date: Prehistory to later 19th Century
Threat When Listed: Natural Elements
Status: IN PROGRESS
 
 

Conical brush homes constructed from living trees, bark and brush, wickiups are primarily associated with Colorado’s Ute People, an indigenous group that dates from prehistoric times to the latter 19th century. As a result of the Ute’s increased migratory lifestyle in the 18th century, wickiups eventually evolved into more easily transportable teepees. Believed to be the only surviving traditional architecture of the Colorado’s indigenous people, they are disappearing at an alarming rate.  Those that remain are critical to the interpretation of the archaeology of historic Ute rancherias.

Colorado Preservation, Inc. encouraged creation of a partnership that would consolidate the database information of the Colorado Historical Society, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and others to begin the survey, documentation, and preservation process. Dominguez Archaeological Research Group (DARG) stepped forward in 2003 to provide matching funds and a successful grant application to the State Historical Fund, to conduct these studies, now complete. Approximately 500 sites are in the combined database and DARG continues to record these sites throughout the state.  A recently-published book by Curtis Martin, Ephemeral Bounty: Wickiups, Trade Goods, and the Final Years of the Autonomous Ute, details the ongoing documentation and history of the sites.

Additional Links:
Dominquez Archaeological Research Group

 

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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 jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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