Prairie Canyon Ranch

Designated: October 3, 2000
Location: South of Franktown along Hwy. 83
Current Owner: Douglas County
Nominated By: Toby Sprunk

Historic Significance

This property was homesteaded by Frederick Bartruff and his family in 1873, and has been used as a working cattle ranch since that time.  The collection of buildings illustrates significant advances in agricultural and architectural technology from the 1870s to the 1930s.  The land is also rich in archaeological resources, with evidence of human occupation up to 9000 years ago.

The property consists of several historic structures including a house, barn, bunkhouse, grain building, chicken house, garage, granary, outhouse, cave, cemetery, and stone corrals (circa 1875-1938).  The ranch is characterized by rolling grasslands, mixed pine and Gambel oak forests, rocky outcrops, narrow canyons, riparian areas, and lush hay meadows. The ranch was acquired because of its diverse wildlife habitat. Hawks, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, deer, elk, and great blue herons are known inhabitants.

Douglas County manages the property as a working cattle ranch. Access to the property is for organized groups including educational tours for school groups and horse rides. Public access is by appointment through Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources at 303-660-7495.

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