National and State Register

Nachtrieb-Kelly Ranch

Chaffee County

The Nachtrieb/Kelly Ranch is associated with the history of ranching in Chaffee County, serving as a cattle and hay ranch from the late 1870s to the present.

Corral at the Nachtrieb-Kelly Ranch.

Nachtrieb-Kelly Ranch.

The original ranchland was acquired by pioneer miller, sawmill operator, townbuilder, and rancher Charles Nachtrieb in 1876.  Following his murder in 1881, his widow, Margaret, and their children continued operating the cattle and hay ranch and owned the property until 1936. Following two short-term owners, the ranch has been owned and operated by the Kelly family since 1951. The ranch is one of a dwindling number in the area that retains its water rights and still has most of its historic lands and buildings. The layout of the ranch reflects agricultural practices and technology from ca.1879-1967, and it maintains historic hay meadows and grazing lands. The ranch also features examples of Pioneer Log construction and a full range of agriculture-related buildings representing the history of the property. The Kelly Ranch contains archaeological materials that have yielded and are likely to yield important information about historic ranching and the associated lifeways of the site occupants.