Barbara Glace Monel, socialite daughter of a wealthy easterner, bought the Greenhorn Mountain Ranch in 1925, renaming it 31-Mile Ranch. She developed the operation into a thriving business of raising draft and show horses. The large Gambrel-roofed barn, built following Ms. Monel's purchase, is very elaborate for the inter-war period in this area of Park County, when most ranchers of the era could not afford such an investment. The windmill served the 1920s ranch house that burned in the 1950s. Oral histories relate that it pumped water to a tank in the attic of the house, providing pressurized water to the interior. It is one of the few in Park County that remain potentially operable.
Mr. R.W. "Curley" Reynolds (pictured below with Kathie Moore, of the Park County Historical Society) acquired the property through a land swap with the Bureau of Land Management in late 1999, and upon receiving a grant from the SHF in 2000 (and providing a 50% cash match), personally undertook a majority of the repair and restoration work on the barn, the windmill, and log cabin. The exterior cladding of the barn was repaired, new wood shingles were installed on the barn and cabin, the ground around the barn and cabin was regraded for positive drainage, and the windmill was repaired by selectively replacing a minimum of original materials. The Park County Historical Society donated considerable time and effort to this project as well.
Schools in surrounding counties have visited the 31-Mile Ranch on field trips for many years. It is used extensively by the Guffey Charter School as a learning experience for its students, and every seventh grade student from the Fremont RE-1 school district visits the ranch annually. Mr. Reynolds continues to allow access to the ranch buildings for these and other educational and interpretive experiences.
For additional information about this project please contact the State Historical Fund at 303-866-2825.