Designated: June 30, 2009
Location: Cherry Valley
Current Owner: Private Property
Nominated By: Pricilla Queen
The Lucas Dairy/Shady Springs Ranch is an intact example of dairy farming and ranching typical of Douglas County in the late 1800s/early 1900s. It has had uninterrupted dairying/ranching since the 1890s. The property has been important not only during historic times, but pre-historic eras as well. Because of its location along East Cherry Creek, it was a natural byway for all kinds of travelers: prehistoric creatures, Native Americans, and pioneers. Native American artifacts have been found on the site, as well as fossilized Titanothere bones. The Titanothere was a rhinocerous-like mammal, about the size of an elephant.
During historic times, the ranch was first settled by Caleb Essington ca. 1890. It was absorbed into Hagspiel Ranch in 1907. Verna and Hugh Lucas moved to ranch in 1920 and stayed for 61 years, and they dairy farmed and raised winter wheat and hay. In 1978, the Lucases sold the ranch to the Gordons, who stayed for 10years. Starting in 1988 it was owned by Lostys for 6 years.
In 1994, the ranch was bought by Queens, the current owners, and they named it Shady Springs Ranch. The Queens have done a lot of renovation and repair work on the on the main house, and they continue grass harvesting, wheat hay cultivation, beef steers and sheep production, bee keeping, and chicken and heritage turkey raising.