Montoya Ranch

Montoya Ranch

Year Listed: 2014
County: Huerfano County
Construction Date: 1860
Threat When Listed: Demolition by Neglect
Status: ALERT


The Montoya Ranch in Huerfano County is an excellent example of Spanish Colonial and Territorial Adobe architecture. Potentially the only adobe basement building in the United States, the building housed different functions beginning in 1860 as a farmhouse. Between 1910 and 1930, an addition was added to accommodate a general store in the building. A jacal addition was added in the 1930s when the building was used as the local post office.  In addition to the farmhouse, there are several dilapidated structures including a wooden sheep herder cabin, wooden corral, concrete cistern, concrete ice box, wood framed shack, two storage containers, and an original wood outhouse that has collapsed.  The Ranch was used for sheep ranching, a rare industry for this part of Colorado. Remarkably several of the sheep pens are still extant on the property.IMG_8887

All of the buildings have suffered from neglect and are on the verge of collapse. The main farmhouse building is in danger of falling down, as the adobe walls have many cracks, are separated from each other, and in one instance, has collapsed completely. The roof and floor in the general store addition are in a state of partial collapse. Because of the Ranch’s importance to Colorado’s history, it is extremely vital that steps are taken immediately to stabilize and preserve the remaining building. Water infiltration has done extensive damage to the roof, walls, floors and foundation. Cracks, holes, and completely collapsed walls threaten the structure of the building.

Further evaluation of the adobe foundation wall is the critical first step. After that evaluation the framing of the building needs to be shored up and the envelope needs to be made weather tight. The building will be considered a save when the envelope has been secured to prevent the active deterioration of the structure.

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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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