July 12, 2024


Obey Your Travel.

Summit Historical Society invites public to travel to the past with homestead map

3 min read


Rice Barn is pictured in Summit Cove on Saturday, April 16. Ahead of it was a neighborhood, the place was house to the Rice Relatives Ranch, a person of the unique Summit County homesteads featured on the Summit Historical Society’s Homestead Mapping Challenge.
Tripp Fay/For the Summit Day-to-day News

Folks can travel 160 several years into Summit County’s previous applying a new interactive device from the Summit Historic Culture.

The modern society unveiled its Homestead Mapping Project as a way to chart the beginnings of land possession in the county. The colourful map exhibits 160-acre parcels that span from Breckenridge to Heeney and incorporates the names of the all-around 300 primary homesteaders who traveled to Summit County to construct ranches, mine for gold and dwell peacefully amid the mountains.

“What we want people today to do is to get curious about how that land was utilized ahead of the reservoir, ahead of the subdivision, right before the Walmart,” reported Sally Queen, executive director of the historical society.

The historic culture was equipped to comprehensive the challenge employing a grant from the Summit Foundation. The dollars paid for Will Mertens, a Summit Historical Modern society intern, who utilized his geographic facts technique graduate diploma to build the map.

Mertens gathered land paperwork from the Bureau of Land Management, which was termed the Basic Land Business when numerous of the homesteads were being sold. He then developed a code that took the facts from the land paperwork like assets boundaries, ownership names and dates so that it would mirror correctly on the map, which folks can entry by browsing SummitHistorical.org/homesteads.

The Summit Historic Society’s Homestead Mapping Job exhibits in which the unique homesteads were situated.
Courtesy picture/Summit Historical Modern society

The names showcased on the map had been all individuals who took gain of the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed anybody in excess of 21 who was the head of their loved ones to implement for 160 acres.

Both Mertens and Queen ended up shocked by how the land was divided among the homesteads. In states like Kansas and Nebraska, those land parcels were frequently great squares lined up in rows next to every other. Quite a few of the homesteads in Summit County are formed like Tetris pieces in purchase to get all over the sophisticated geography of the mountains.

“Here, they slice into the mountains and they go up into valleys,” Mertens reported. “That was the most attention-grabbing element.”

The historic culture hopes the map can at some point tell the story of Summit County’s homesteaders. By now, the modern society has posted the story of the Rice Loved ones Ranch, which applied to be situated wherever Summit Cove sits nowadays.

Mertens and Queen worked with Alan Rice, who grew up on the ranch ahead of it was offered and turned into Summit Cove. Rice, who is 85, claimed daily life in Summit County was slower and more peaceful right before ski resorts were being created in Keystone and Breckenridge.

U.S. Freeway 6 and the Rice Spouse and children Ranch is pictured in a 1939 information clipping.
Alan Rice/Courtesy picture

“It was the greatest spot in the earth to be lifted,” Rice claimed. “We had plenty of chores to do but we also experienced heaps of entertaining.”

Rice mentioned he’s enthusiastic for people to attain a superior knowing of Summit County’s heritage as a result of the map.

In the long run, the historic culture hopes the map further tells the tale of Summit County, Queen reported. For instance, 9 of the map’s homesteads are situated in the bounds of the Dillon Reservoir, which crews started making in 1961. Other folks may possibly uncover that their household or favourite grocery retail store utilized to be the place of a lucrative ranch.

“There’s a romance in the use of the land among now and the previous and then heading ahead,” Queen reported.

As the historical society connects with extra descendants of the unique homesteaders, it will incorporate additional stories to the map. Men and women who have family members connections to the initial Summit County homesteads can attain out to the historical modern society by emailing [email protected].



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