Experience Living History at an “Open Ranch” event on Colorado’s Western Slope
by Watch Staff
Sep 15, 2011 | 1052 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<b>SAME AS IT EVER WAS</b> – The main ranch house at Centennial Ranch, an 1879 homestead south of Colona, will host an “Open Ranch” event next weekend, Sept. 24-25, as a fundraiser for the Ouray County Historical Society. (Courtesy photo)
SAME AS IT EVER WAS – The main ranch house at Centennial Ranch, an 1879 homestead south of Colona, will host an “Open Ranch” event next weekend, Sept. 24-25, as a fundraiser for the Ouray County Historical Society. (Courtesy photo)
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RIDGWAY – Have you ever wondered what lies beyond those impressive log entrances to Colorado’s grand cattle ranches? You can find out the weekend of September 24-25, when the Centennial Ranch, just south of Colona, welcomes the public for an “Open Ranch” event.

Spend the 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 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. 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.

Parts of the ranch have been meticulously restored and recreated, including 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 can 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 Ranch has been featured in Architectural Digest; it is located about two miles south of Colona, and 12 miles south of Montrose on Highway 550. The Open Ranch will run from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. both days. A cowboy cookout is included in the $15 admission price (free for ages 19 and under). Tickets may be purchased at the gate. All proceeds go to the Ouray County Historical Society and Museum.
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