With its corral in place, celebrate the completion of the Arnold Barn on Friday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Lights, signs and a completed corral fence have the Arnold Barn settled into its new location at Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle.
At noon Friday, the public is invited to join the multiple organizations involved in saving and moving the barn at a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the project’s completion.
Todd Arnold, grandson of Walter Arnold who built the barn, as well as representatives of Save Arnold Barn, the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. and The Steamboat Grand will say a few words.
“Our buildings are part of our story, and our historic buildings tell us where we came from,” said Arianthe Stettner, a member of Save Arnold Barn and a local historian.
These buildings allow people to envision the history that got us where we are today, she said.
She explained that of the people who built Steamboat, “most of them were hard-working people, and their resources were their willingness to do hard work and use the things that they had,” she said. “You didn’t find a lot of fancy-schmancy buildings here like you do in Aspen where there was gold or Georgetown where there was gold and silver. That’s part of our story. That is part of what makes Steamboat Springs and Routt County special. We still have these places around to remind us of our roots and whether you were born here or moved here five years ago, it’s the thing that gives you a sense of place.”
Since the historic dairy barn was moved from its original location at the northwest corner of the Meadows Parking Lot, crews have completed a trail from The Steamboat Grand to the barn, a crosswalk on Mount Werner Circle and a small parking pullout.
The corral fence is historically accurate, down to how the interior poles are placed, Stettner said.
“If you have an animal in the corral that wants to get out, and it pushes against the rails, if the rails are attached on the inside of the corral, it will only secure them more sturdily to the post,” she said. “But if you attach the rails to the outside of the corral, and that angry animal wants to get out, well, they just push a few times and the rails pop off the poles and out they go. These are things that locals know, but visitors might not.”
Bill Gay also donated a feed sled used on the family ranch since the 1950s. The horse-drawn sled was used — and is still used on some ranches — to haul hay to livestock in the thick of Routt County’s three-wire winters.
What: Arnold Barn ribbon cutting
When: Noon, Friday, Nov. 1
Where: Arnold Barn, the intersection of Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle
Window panes were replaced. Berlett Roofing donated labor and material to replace the roof, and the metal was used to replace the tarpaper roof on the Yock Cabin near the More Barn.
Contractors had planned to install the barn’s four interpretive signs this week, but weather has delayed that. Once the signs are installed, the project is complete. A vehicle collided with utilities on the property, so they’ll be working to repair electric and irrigation lines this winter and in spring 2020.
“There are many stories about little twists and turns throughout the process of getting an old building placed in the right spot and get it out of where it was, sinking in a bog more or less, to a very prominent location,”said Ralph Walton, project manager for the Redevelopment Authority. “I think the whole community can be proud of the way it was executed.”
Walton thanked the numerous entities that supported the project. Ski Corp. owns the barn and has agreed to maintain the barn in the future. The Steamboat Grand owns the land the barn sits on and agreed to the new location and to maintain the trail to the barn. Historic Routt County contributed time and fundraising efforts to the project in addition to funding from the Redevelopment Authority.
Walton said relocating the barn was a “great public-private partnership.”
“The commitment of everybody at this juncture that made it happen is worth drawing on for other stuff that comes up in town,” he said.
Save Arnold Barn will continue to support the barn, Stettner said, adding that other historic preservation projects have taught them that the work is never over.
“Even if a project is done, it’s never done,” she said. “You always have to be taking care of it.”
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