Baca County Survey

Rural Resources Survey of Baca County

With funding from the Colorado Historical Society’s State Historical Fund and Preserve America, Colorado Preservation, Inc.has conducted a survey of rural resources in Baca County. Agriculture has been predominant in the economy of the eastern portion of the state since settlement, but no comprehensive survey of agricultural resources has been conducted.  Documenting the rural resources of Eastern Colorado is essential to understanding, preserving, and interpreting the built history of the region as well as laying a foundation for preservation planning, heritage tourism, and economic development.

Bartlett Store and Grain Elevator, Baca County

The Survey:

This project started with a reconnaissance-level survey of all rural built resources more than 50 years old in Baca County. These resources were ranked based on visual impressions of integrity and significance,and 20 of the highest priority resources each county were then surveyed at an intensive level. Survey reports summarize the resources identified and present an overview of the county’s development along with recommendations for additional preservation activities.

The Resources:

The farms and ranches, as well as the railroad facilities that transport their products to market, are an intrinsic part of the heritage and character of Eastern Colorado. The survey included residences, barns, irrigation structures, railroad resources, agricultural processing and storage facilities as well as schools, churches, and crossroad communities.

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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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