Hayden Ranch Stabilization

History of the Ranch

The Hayden Ranch was founded in 1859. The buildings that still stand today were built between 1880 and 1930. The site operated mainly as a hay ranch through the 1890s, providing feed for the horses and mules serving Leadville’s mining industry. With the Silver Panic of 1893 and the arrival of the automobile a few years later, the ranch turned to grazing cattle. Beginning in 1947, the ranch was only used seasonally and the historic buildings declined. In 1998, the City of Aurora purchased the Ranch for water rights. Through the efforts of Lake County Open Space Initiative, 60 acres were donated to Lake County, 1,411 acres sold to the Bureau of Land Management and 360 acres along the Arkansas River were sold to Colorado State Parks. In order to preserve the historic structures, a bargain sale was made to Colorado Preservation, Inc. for the 36.2 acre Homestead portion of the property in 2005.

Project Description

Colorado Preservation, Inc. is working to stabilize the sixteen historic structures on the property in cooperation with Colorado Mountain College – Timberline Campus (CMC). Colorado Preservation, Inc. secured a State Historical Fund grant and matching monies to conduct Phase I stabilization and interpretive work to some of the contributing structures of the site, which took place in 2007-2008. In 2008, Colorado Preservation, Inc. sold the Hayden Ranch site to Colorado Mountain College for use as a laboratory, woodworking shop, and classroom space for students in their historic preservation trades program. Phase II stabilization of the Horse Barn, Bunk House, Ranch House, Slaughterhouse, and Log Cabin was just completed in the fall of 2010.  Phase III stabilization of the Large Barn, the Garage/Storage Barn, and the Barn/Manger is set to take place this summer of 2011. Master planning for the property, as directed by the Colorado Mountain College and other stakeholder groups, is also under-way. Colorado Preservation, Inc. remains active and supportive of the project and also holds a position on the Colorado Mountain College’s Historic Preservation Program and Hayden Ranch advisory committee.   

Project Team

– Project support is provided by Colorado Mountain College, the State Historical Fund, the Environmental Protection Agency, Lake County and Lake County Open Space Initiative, Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway & Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, the Quick Family Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation, and Colorado Preservation, Inc.

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We hope you will extend your appreciation for Colorado's heritage by helping us take advantage of this $1 to $1 matching campaign. Learn more about our matching campaign and make your tax-deductible donation today!

Matching Campaign

Thank you to our donors for this matching campaign!

Karen J. Jonas

PACE Conservation Solutions


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PACE Conservation Solutions

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Patrick Eidman

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Featured Project

Preservation for a Changing Colorado

The 2017 update, Preservation for a Changing Colorado, resulted from a partnership between Colorado Preservation and History Colorado and Colorado Preservation, Inc. Prepared by Clarion Associates, the new report and accompanying website document the economic benefits of rehabilitation projects, analyzes property values and neighborhood stability in local historic districts, and summarizes the increasing impact of heritage tourism, private preservation development and the success of Colorado’s Main Street program. In a key finding, researchers found that for every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado leads to $1.03 million in additional spending, 14 new jobs, and $636,700 in increased household incomes across the state! The 2017 report also considers the important role preservation plays in helping Coloradans provide new spaces for creative communities and co-working, create and sustain meaningful places, respond to the state’s changing demographics, and address climate concerns. Click Here to see the full report, "Preservation for a Changing Colorado".