Ranch Buildings

Homesteader Alexander MacGregor began his claims in the Estes Park area in 1873, being one of the first in the area to lay homestead claims and begin mountain ranching.

From 1873 to 1970, three generations of the MacGregor family used the property for a variety of high-mountain ranching functions. The Ranch is home to 42 buildings - twenty eight of which are listed on the National Historic Register. The historic structures date from 1873 to 1920 and construction ranges from log construction to vernacular wood frame construction, many with native stone foundations.

Vernacular wood frame construction........ refers to a simple wood frame building, which is the product of the builder's experience, available resources, and response to the environment. These buildings are typically rectangular, of balloon frame construction, that rest on piers. They are one or two stories in height, with one-story front porches, and gabled roofs with overhanging eaves. Horizontal weatherboard siding is the most common exterior wall materials. Wood double-hung sash windows are typical, . Ornamentation is sparse, and includes shingles, cornerboards, porch columns, brackets, rafter tails, and vents in the gable ends.

Vernacular wood frame construction........ is a building designed by an amateur without any training in design; the individual will have been guided by a series of conventions built up in his locality, paying little attention to what may be fashionable. The function of the building would be the dominant factor, aesthetic considerations, though present to some small degree, being quite minimal. Local materials would be used as a matter of course, other materials being chosen and imported quite exceptionally.

Sidings on the ranch buildings vary from clapboard to shiplap siding and roofing ranges from tin to sawn wood shingle. Many of the buildings are constructed of timber milled at Alexander's 1876 water powered sawmill.

For more information you may Email: The Ranch Office