February 25, 2024


pleasant trip on vacation

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


Rice Barn is pictured in Summit Cove on Saturday, April 16. Prior to it was a community, the spot was dwelling to the Rice Family Ranch, 1 of the first Summit County homesteads highlighted on the Summit Historic Society’s Homestead Mapping Task.
Tripp Fay/For the Summit Everyday News

People can journey 160 years into Summit County’s earlier using a new interactive resource from the Summit Historical Society.

The society released its Homestead Mapping Job as a way to chart the beginnings of land possession in the county. The vibrant map shows 160-acre parcels that span from Breckenridge to Heeney and contains the names of the close to 300 first homesteaders who traveled to Summit County to construct ranches, mine for gold and live peacefully amid the mountains.

“What we want individuals to do is to get curious about how that land was employed in advance of the reservoir, right before the subdivision, just before the Walmart,” explained Sally Queen, govt director of the historic society.

The historical society was in a position to comprehensive the job employing a grant from the Summit Basis. The income compensated for Will Mertens, a Summit Historic Society intern, who employed his geographic info technique graduate degree to produce the map.

Mertens collected land files from the Bureau of Land Administration, which was named the Common Land Office environment when several of the homesteads ended up bought. He then developed a code that took the details from the land paperwork like home boundaries, possession names and dates so that it would reflect accurately on the map, which people today can accessibility by viewing SummitHistorical.org/homesteads.

The Summit Historic Society’s Homestead Mapping Project exhibits where by the authentic homesteads ended up found.
Courtesy photo/Summit Historical Modern society

The names highlighted on the map had been all people who took advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed any one in excess of 21 who was the head of their loved ones to utilize for 160 acres.

Both of those Mertens and Queen ended up amazed by how the land was divided between the homesteads. In states like Kansas and Nebraska, individuals land parcels were normally ideal squares lined up in rows up coming to each individual other. Many of the homesteads in Summit County are shaped like Tetris pieces in get to get around the complex geography of the mountains.

“Here, they cut into the mountains and they go up into valleys,” Mertens stated. “That was the most exciting component.”

The historical society hopes the map can eventually tell the tale of Summit County’s homesteaders. Already, the culture has revealed the story of the Rice Loved ones Ranch, which utilised to be found exactly where Summit Cove sits now.

Mertens and Queen worked with Alan Rice, who grew up on the ranch right before it was offered and turned into Summit Cove. Rice, who is 85, said everyday living in Summit County was slower and additional peaceful ahead of ski resorts ended up created in Keystone and Breckenridge.

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

“It was the greatest area in the planet to be lifted,” Rice mentioned. “We experienced heaps of chores to do but we also had lots of exciting.”

Rice reported he’s enthusiastic for people today to attain a superior knowledge of Summit County’s heritage by way of the map.

In the end, the historic society hopes the map even more tells the tale of Summit County, Queen explained. For illustration, nine of the map’s homesteads are located in the bounds of the Dillon Reservoir, which crews began building in 1961. Other persons might discover that their dwelling or beloved grocery shop employed to be the location of a rewarding ranch.

“There’s a marriage in the use of the land amongst now and the earlier and then going forward,” Queen claimed.

As the historic culture connects with extra descendants of the original homesteaders, it will incorporate extra stories to the map. People today who have household connections to the first Summit County homesteads can achieve out to the historic society by emailing [email protected].



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