Historic Douglas County, Inc.
The Rich History of Ranching in Douglas County
Douglas County is known as the birthplace of Colorado, and it has a rich history of ranching. Douglas County Libraries and the Douglas County History Research Center are partnering with several organizations this summer to explore the roots and unique experiences of ranching in Douglas County. Through an interactive, educational four-part program, participants get a peek into ranching’s past, as well as a look at two of the more historic ranches in this part of Colorado: Cherokee Ranch and Prairie Canyon Ranch.
The series kicks off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock (Philip S. Miller branch, 100 S. Wilcox St.). Larry Schlupp from Historic Douglas County will provide information and insights on the history of cattle breeds and some of the brands specific to Douglas County dating back to the 1860s. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of the cattle breeds that are recognizable today throughout the county.
The second part in the series, at 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, treats participants to a behind-the-scenes tour of the ranching operations at Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation near Sedalia (the castle is NOT part of the tour). The ranch has a storied legacy of breeding Santa Gertrudis cattle — and a small herd is still bred on the property today.
On Sunday, August 21, at 2 p.m., Tom Noel, aka “Dr. Colorado,” stops by the Philip S. Miller library to give an entertaining look at ranching in relation to the National Western Stock Show. Noel is a professor of history and director of Public History, Preservation and Colorado Studies at the University of Colorado Denver, and the author of “Riding High: Colorado Ranchers and 100 Years of the National Western Stock Show.” He’s an expert on this type of Colorado history, and he brings it to life in his presentation.
The ranching series concludes at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 28, at Prairie Canyon Ranch near Franktown. Jackie Sanderson from the Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources leads a tour of the ranch and explains its unique history, the current management of the environment and surrounding nature, and what’s next for the ranch, which is now part of Douglas County Open Space.
For more information on this free program go to the DC Libraries Site and register by calling 303-791-7323 or visiting DouglasCountyLibraries.org. Douglas County Libraries is a passionate advocate for literacy and lifelong learning.