Have you ever wondered what lies beyond those impressive log entrances to Colorado’s grand cattle ranches? Find out the weekend of September 24-25, 2011, when the Centennial Ranch, home of the Double Shoe Publishing Company, and located just south of Colona, Colorado, welcomes the public for an “Open Ranch” event.
Spend a golden autumn day wandering through historic ranch buildings and pristine meadows. A conservation easement preserves the property in perpetuity, protecting wildlife habitat, riparian ecosystems and the traditional ranching lifestyle.
The Open Ranch will run 11 a.m.-4 p.m. both days. A cowboy cookout (includes chili and biscuits/hot-dog lunch) is included in the price of admission, $15 per adult and free for ages 19 and under. All proceeds will go to the Ouray County Historical Society and Museum.
The 400-acre property occupies a rugged stretch of the Uncompahgre River canyon. Originally homesteaded in 1879, the Centennial Ranch remains a family-owned working cattle ranch. Here, the legacy of Western Slope ranching is preserved in every detail—from the spruce-log line cabin to the gleaming bits and spurs hanging in the tack room of the Centennial barn.
Continuous self-guided tours will showcase meticulously restored and recreated structures. Those include the rancher’s stunning, timber-frame home, which is detailed with medieval-style, hand-forged ironwork. The line cabin is an authentic cowboy shelter, complete with cast-iron cookstove and rustic furnishings. Visitors also will tour the calving shed and the main barn, which houses draft horses and a trove of western relics and implements. All buildings were constructed with salvaged or recycled materials. The entire spread has been featured in Architectural Digest.
The Centennial Ranch is located about two miles south of Colona, CO and 14 miles south of Montrose on Highway 550. To purchase tickets in advance, call the Ouray County Historical Society at 970-325-4576.