The Mad Creek Barn owned by the US Forest Service, is located in an isolated setting in the mountainous high country up on the Mad Creek.
The barn was built by Harry Ratliff (1879-1956) who started cattle ranching along the creek in 1903. A couple of years later President Roosevelt established the Park Range Forest Reserve, in which Ratliff's ranch was entirely contained. Ratliff became the first Forest Supervisor of the Routt National Forest during "The Range Wars".
Ratliff had to contend with the strife between cattle barons, local homesteaders, outlaws in Brown’s Park and the federal government. He allowed sheep to occupy range land and despite repeated attempts by the cattle barons to remove him, he administered the range for broader benefit.
A relatively recent, purposely-set fire had damaged the vacant building’s interior. The project involved an analysis by structural engineer Gene Baker and the contractor, they determined the extent of foundation, log wall, stud framed wall, metal clad roof & door and window openings treatment.
The historic landscape features including livestock fencing, also required and received preservation attention.
For additional information about this project please contact the State Historical Fund at 303-866-2825.