Rice Barn is pictured in Summit Cove on Saturday, April 16. Just before it was a community, the place was house to the Rice Relatives Ranch, one of the original Summit County homesteads highlighted on the Summit Historical Society’s Homestead Mapping Venture.
Tripp Fay/For the Summit Daily News

People today can travel 160 several years into Summit County’s previous making use of a new interactive tool from the Summit Historical Culture.

The society released its Homestead Mapping Project as a way to chart the beginnings of land ownership in the county. The vibrant map exhibits 160-acre parcels that span from Breckenridge to Heeney and involves the names of the all around 300 primary homesteaders who traveled to Summit County to develop ranches, mine for gold and reside peacefully amongst the mountains.

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

The historic modern society was able to total the project making use of a grant from the Summit Basis. The income paid out for Will Mertens, a Summit Historical Culture intern, who made use of his geographic details procedure graduate degree to create the map.

Mertens collected land documents from the Bureau of Land Management, which was named the Normal Land Business office when many of the homesteads ended up bought. He then produced a code that took the info from the land documents like house boundaries, ownership names and dates so that it would reflect precisely on the map, which folks can entry by going to SummitHistorical.org/homesteads.

The Summit Historic Society’s Homestead Mapping Venture reveals wherever the original homesteads had been positioned.
Courtesy photograph/Summit Historical Culture

The names featured on the map were being all men and women who took advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed any individual in excess of 21 who was the head of their household to implement for 160 acres.

Equally Mertens and Queen ended up amazed by how the land was divided among the homesteads. In states like Kansas and Nebraska, those land parcels had been usually excellent squares lined up in rows next to every other. Quite a few of the homesteads in Summit County are shaped like Tetris items in get to get all-around the complicated geography of the mountains.

“Here, they lower into the mountains and they go up into valleys,” Mertens reported. “That was the most interesting component.”

The historic society hopes the map can inevitably convey to the tale of Summit County’s homesteaders. Now, the culture has posted the tale of the Rice Spouse and children Ranch, which applied to be located wherever Summit Cove sits now.

Mertens and Queen labored with Alan Rice, who grew up on the ranch just before it was offered and turned into Summit Cove. Rice, who is 85, said daily life in Summit County was slower and extra tranquil before ski resorts ended up crafted in Keystone and Breckenridge.

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

“It was the greatest location in the planet to be lifted,” Rice explained. “We had tons of chores to do but we also experienced a lot of fun.”

Rice said he’s psyched for folks to achieve a far better understanding of Summit County’s record by means of the map.

Eventually, the historical modern society hopes the map more tells the tale of Summit County, Queen mentioned. For instance, 9 of the map’s homesteads are found in the bounds of the Dillon Reservoir, which crews began building in 1961. Other people today may perhaps discover that their dwelling or preferred grocery retail outlet employed to be the area of a financially rewarding ranch.

“There’s a partnership in the use of the land among now and the past and then going forward,” Queen explained.

As the historic culture connects with far more descendants of the unique homesteaders, it will incorporate additional stories to the map. People who have household connections to the primary Summit County homesteads can achieve out to the historical society by emailing [email protected].



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