Friday, March 6, 2009

Steamboat Springs Historic Preservation

7 properties join historic register
Routt County nonprofit uses state grant funds to assist owners
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Thursday, March 5, 2009

Steamboat Springs — Seven properties were added in 2007 and 2008 to the Routt County Register of Historic Places, which now includes a variety of 89 historic county properties.

Local nonprofit organization Historic Routt County guided five of the properties through the designation process, underwriting the costs to compile information and write applications with money it received through a grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund. The five properties are the Crossan’s M&A Market and Yampa-Egeria Museum in Yampa, the Mission Building-Pool Hall and Elkhead School­house in Hayden, and the Humble Ranch in Steamboat Springs. The owners of two other properties — the HiWay Bar and Grill in Hayden and the Remington House in Steamboat — submitted applications themselves but also received technical assistance from Historic Routt County.

“We try to encourage nominations with willing property owners all the time,” Executive Director Towny Anderson said. “We’d always like to be doing more. It’s just a matter of resources.”

Anderson said Historic Routt County is a good place to start for anybody interested in having a property listed on the county register.

“Anybody who wants to be on that register, we’ll try to help,” Anderson said. “That’s one of our signature programs.”

The county register is honorary — not regulatory — but owners can take advantage of incentives such as tax credits and historic structure assessment grants. Dona Steele, owner of the Remington House at 216 Spruce Street, said she moved to Steamboat from a community in South Florida that took no care to preserve its historical character.

“I just like old houses, and I think it’s great when people want to preserve … the ambience of what Steamboat Springs used to be like,” Steele said.

Steele said the designation process was very interesting and educational. Through her research, Steele learned that Lester J. Remington, who brought commercial strawberry farming to Routt County, built the house in 1902. Steele came across an old newspaper story about a strawberry Remington grew that was 7.5 inches around.

The HiWay Bar building originally was the homestead of William Walker and was built in 1888. J.L. Norvell turned it into a multi-purpose grocery store a few years later. The building has served as a liquor store, a gambling hall, a general store, a bank and a jail.

The Crossan’s M&A Market, built circa 1902, now is owned by the town of Yampa but was formerly known as the Buck & Son General Merchandise Store. The Old Town Yampa fixture includes several features of the false-front vernacular storefront architecture style.

The Yampa-Egeria Museum in Old Town Yampa was built in the same style in 1903 as the Yampa Bank. The building now is run as a museum and also is owned by the town of Yampa.

The Mission Building-Pool Hall in Hayden also was built by William Walker, in the false-front vernacular storefront style. Originally built as a church in 1903, the building now serves as the Hayden Marketplace. The Elkhead Schoolhouse was built in 1915 with local stone. After years of abandonment and vandalism, Dwight and Barbara Green bought the building in 1961.

William J. Milner obtained the land that now is the Humble Ranch through a land patent in 1897. Ed and Cheri Trousil purchased the land in 1999, created the Humble Ranch Education & Therapy Center and have preserved 13 buildings on the property.


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