View Full List of National Register: Wyoming Listings

View Full List of National Register: Wyoming Listings

Crow Creek/Cole Ranch Headquarters Historic District


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The Crow Creek/Cole Ranch Headquarters historic district, with its distinctive buildings, irrigation ditch, grazing lands, and irrigated hay meadow, represents cattle ranching in southeastern Wyoming during a long period of significance, the period between 1879 and 1972. The property, developed by Andrew Gilchrist as the Crow Creek Ranch during the early cattle bonanza years of the 1870s, represents both that era as well as the Cole family ranching operation, which was characteristic of stock raising in Laramie County. Thus the period of significance extends until 1972 when the ranch property was subdivided for hobby ranch and residential use. The historic district is eligible under Criterion A as representative of agriculture and cattle ranching. The 1890 bank barn is eligible under Criterion C as a noteworthy example of a bank barn with stone basement and upper level designed for hay storage.

The Crow Creek/Cole Ranch headquarters historic district is located on the north side of South Crow Creek in the Happy Valley area of southwestern Laramie County. The 49-acre property located south of Happy Jack Road is adjacent to an area with some residential development. The ranch headquarters is situated between a ridge and the South Crow Creek. A gravel road follows the lower contours of the ridge at the edge of the creek bottom to the ranch property and terminates there. The road and buildings are oriented to the creek, which runs from the southwest to the northeast.

The ranch headquarters district consists of several components, including a large bank barn with a stone basement level, a stone two-room bunkhouse, a stone residence now clad with stucco, and a well constructed prior to 1890. A fenced corral located southeast of the barn and a metal quonset building were erected in 1950. An outhouse and root cellar, and the Gilchrist No. 1 irrigation ditch complete the set of buildings and structures. Also encompassed in the district are the hay meadow north of the creek, grazing land to the west of the buildings, and the bluff and grazing land to the north. A chicken house erected in 1982 replaced an earlier building; the chicken house post-dates the period of significance and is the only non-contributing resource.



Date Added to Register:
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Laramie County
Smithsonian Number: 


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