Iconic ‘Steamboat Barn’ gets new interpretative sign
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After thousands of photos taken over the decades with tourists, high school graduates and even wedding parties, the famous Steamboat Barn, officially known as the More Barn, now has its own history sign.
“People have come here for years to have their picture taken but do they really know the story behind it?” asked Nancy Kramer as she wipes ice off the new interpretive sign.
Not a problem any more. The city of Steamboat Springs recently installed a state-of-the-art metal sign at the 4-acre park where the historic barn sits in the foreground of the scenic slopes of Steamboat Resort.
Kramer, head of the Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Program, said a lot of people came together to relaunch the city’s interpretive sign program, which languished during the recession. The project develops high-quality signs at various historic spots around the city to inform locals and visitors of how people, places and structures played a part in the city’s history.
The signs are mounted on a sturdy post designed like a trail marker, with a bronze city medallion perched on the post. Kramer found a new company that specialized in high-pressured laminate that could take a beating. She expects the sign’s historic photographs and messaging to last at least 10 years before needing to be replaced.
While the Steamboat Barn is known locally as the More Barn, in reality, the new sign tells the oft-lost story of its original owners, the Yocks, and their little cabin that is also located in the park below the Steamboat Barn Village subdivision off of Central Park Drive and Pine Grove Road.
Meanwhile, another interpretive sign is going up for the Arnold Barn, an old dairy barn built in 1928 that was saved by community activists, the city and the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. The barn was recently moved to a prominent position at the junction of Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle.
The refurbished barn will be a gateway to the ski base, and a new interpretive sign about the barn’s history will be erected along a trail across the street.
“I’m guessing Steamboat’s new icon will be the Arnold Barn because of its proximity to the ski area,” Kramer said. “People will be saying ‘take a left or a right at the old barn.’”
Still, the original Steamboat Barn can hardly be replaced. After all, it’s the photographic benchmark for melding the town’s agricultural and skiing history.
In the meantime, older interpretive signs can be found throughout the city at places like Bud Werner Memorial Library, Howelsen Hill and the Mesa Schoolhouse. But Kramer said look out for new signs to pop up in places like the Depot Art Center.
“People will have the opportunity to learn about people and places and learn what it was like living here in the early days,” she said.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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