From Gold to Hay: Ranching in Park County

Ranchers first arrived in Park County due to the Gold Rush. As Park County residents adjusted to new climates and ways of life, ranchers and their properties grew in size and influence. This exhibit covers the history of ranching in Park County from the early 1800s to today.

The connection of early ranching and developing mining and railroad industries are discussed in detail, as well as women's roles in the industry. The exhibit moves on to examine improvements in ranching techniques as ranchers moved away from classic cowboy methods of cattle roundups to keeping their livestock within fences. Topics such as the impact of the Great Depression and the World Wars on ranching are also explored. The exhibit concludes with a discussion on modern rancher exploits regarding tourism and conservation. 

There are some limitations involved in our exhibit regarding indigenous populations. While we hoped to include them to a greater extent, due to a lack of resources this proved extremely difficult. Although our exhibit displays an interesting story on Park County ranching and homesteading, it is important to acknowledge the indigenous population and culture missing from our story. 


This exhibit was created by the graduate students in the Library and Information Science program at the University of Denver: Emma Hunter, Ashley Love, Alec Millman, Bridgette Steddom, and Ellie Svoboda. LIS 4810 Digital Libraries class, Fall 2020. This exhibit was revised and expanded in 2021 by Sam Carlson, Lisa Donovan, and Callie Cherry, three graduate students in the Library and Information Science program at the University of Denver and members of the project funded by the Public Good Fund from the University of Denver.