Hubbard Cabin along Yampa River added to Routt County historic places register |

Hubbard Cabin along Yampa River added to Routt County historic places register

Built in 1956, cabin was once part of ranch swallowed by Stagecoach Reservoir

The Hubbard Cabin, also called the Sarvis Cabin, in 2014, just before the property was purchased by the Bureau of Land Management. Last week the cabin was added to the Routt County Register of Historic Places.
Bureau of Land Management/Courtesy photo

The Routt County Board of County Commissioners added a 66-year old cabin in the woods along the Yampa River south of Steamboat Springs to the local register of historic places last week.

The Hubbard Cabin, also called the Sarvis Cabin because of its proximity to Sarvis Creek, was once part of an extensive ranch that was eventually swallowed by Stagecoach Reservoir.

The Bureau of Land Management now owns the cabin, but a 2018 study found that it didn’t meet criteria to be added to the national register of historic places. Arianthe Stettner, an emeritus board member of Historic Routt County, said it still met the county’s criteria.

“(Federal officials) didn’t want to be obligated to have that level of rigor in terms of its future,” Stettner told commissioners on Tuesday, Oct. 11. “However, Routt County appreciated its historical resources on a very heartfelt level and it does meet the criteria for the Routt County Historic Register.”

The cabin is about 14 miles south of Steamboat, and can be accessed along Routt County Road 18, a road only open to vehicles for part of the year. The cabin sits on a 45-acre parcel in a small meadow about 36 feet away from the river’s edge.

Robert Hubbard was a former mayor of Steamboat who came to Routt County in 1931 and was involved in the liquidation of the Yampa and Hayden banks during the Great Depression. After purchasing the property in 1942, the Hubbard family would spend summers camping along the Yampa River until the cabin was built in 1956.

In the winter, the Hubbard family lived in Steamboat, which was a common occurrence in the Yampa Valley before vehicles and plowed roads were popular, Stettner said.

“The family stayed in tents, rode horses and looked after cattle and sheep,” the application for the building being put on the register states. “They would occasionally drive into Steamboat for supplies and to take a proper bath, then return to their camp.”

Hubbard and his wife Betty died in 1980 and 1978, respectively, about a decade before much of the ranch would be incorporated into Stagecoach Reservoir in 1989. The 45-acre parcel Hubbard Cabin sits on is all that is left of the ranch.

The parcel was rarely used after their deaths and in 2014 was purchased by the BLM for conservation and public recreation with funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Stettner said the cabin meets two criteria to be added to Routt County’s register of historic places. First, it exemplifies the cultural, economic, social or historic heritage of the county and second, it has a unique location making it a familiar visual feature in the county, the application states.

“It may not fit a lot of the criteria that we would normally associate with historic designation, but I think it does qualify,” Commissioner Tim Corrigan said. “It is an important part of Routt County.”

Stettner pointed out they are constantly evolving their mindsets for what it means to get a historic designation, noting that buildings from 1972 are 50 years old now.

“It’s simple, it’s not fancy construction,” Stettner said. “It’s so practical, it’s so Routt County. That’s what makes it so perfect.”

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