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Hahns Peak Lookout Thank You

Thank You

Historic Routt County is proud to work with the USDA Forest Service on grant applications, volunteer organization, and interpretive efforts to successfully save Hahns Peak Lookout.

We appreciate History Colorado, and Colorado Preservation Inc. for their statewide recognition, which has helped get this project off the ground.

We would also like to extend our gratitude the State Historical Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Museum and Heritage Fund of the Board of Routt County Commissioners, and generous individual donors for funding these efforts.

Of course, we are endlessly thankful to the volunteer crews from Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and HistoriCorps for their hard work rehabilitating the structure. Volunteers camped at the base of the mountain, hiked supplies up every day, and contributed much physical labor in order to insure our collective vision was accomplished.

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Hahns Peak Lookout Rehabilitation


 In 2013, HistoriCorps, in partnership with volunteers from the Trail Crew members of the USDA Forest Service, conducted emergency stabilization on the lookout.

Thanks to grants from the State Historical Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Museum and Heritage Fund of the Board of Routt County Commissioners, historic restoration on the lookout has continued over the next several summers. Work has included reinforcing the floor and walls, electrically grounding the structure, and bringing the lookout to its 1942 – 1947 period of significance.

In 2016 Colorado Preservation Inc. declared Hahns Peak officially saved! However, one week of restoration work remains, which HistoriCorps will complete July 2017. After completing the restoration, Historic Routt County will work with Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Programs to erect interpretive signs at the peak so that hikers can learn about the history and significance of the Hahns Peak Lookout onsite.

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Hahns Peak Lookout History


Allured by the prospect of gold, German immigrant Joseph Henn originally settled in the area now known as Hahns Peak in the early 1860s. The mountain and the village were named for Henn, whose pronunciation sounded like “Hahn.” The village of Hahns Peak was the first settlement in Routt County and eventually became the first county seat. The area proved to be successful in mining from 1860 – 1890.

In 1905, lands surrounding the Hahns Peak community, which included the closed and abandoned Hahns Peak Gold Mine, were converted from private lands to public lands, with the establishment of the Park Range Forest Preserve. Created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, the Park Range Forest Preserve was established for the protection and management of range lands and for watershed protection. In 1908, the name was changed to the Routt National Forest, in honor of Colorado’s first elected governor, John Long Routt.

As one of the most prominent peaks in northern Routt County, the Forest Service selected Hahns Peak as the location to construct the new administrative building for managing forest resources – the Hahns Peak Fire Lookout. Construction occurred between 1908 and 1912 by Forest Rangers Harry Ratliff and Percy Paxton, as well as Stanley Brock from Hayden, Jim McCormick from Hahns Peak, and other unnamed men. The construction date discrepancy is due either to fallible memories of the constructors, or the lag in time between the authorization to construct and the federal money arriving in Hahns Peak.

Ratliff utilized local resources and ingenuity to complete the project. Walls were constructed of local stone from the top of the mountain, and the remains of the Hahns Peak Gold Mining and Milling Company operations of the Royal Flush – Wedge Lode mining claim. The men encountered a unique challenge during the construction: pack horses could not be hired because the slide rock was considered too dangerous. Instead, Ratliff assigned Forest Rangers who were willing to put one or more saddle horses on the job. Tied head to tail, this caravan hauled needed building supplies to the summit of Hahns Peak. Many hundreds of pounds of sand, cement and water, three or four 2×12’ timbers were hauled up to the construction site.

 Fire watchers were often teachers, who spent their summers atop Hahns peak, where they were equipped with a stove, a mine-set telephone, detailed maps, and an Osborne fire finder. Watchers slept in the stone room below the lookout and spent their days scanning their surroundings for signs of fires.

 The Hahns Peak Lookout was enlarged and modernized circa 1942. Modifications included the addition of the cab on top of the original lookout structure, as well as stairs to access the tower. Photographic evidence highlights the addition of poured concrete on all elevations of the lookout’s base. There is no documentation as to why the poured concrete was added to the structure’s exterior. However, this additional cladding adds a special texture to the lookout.

 The lookout was briefly repurposed for national security to watch the skies for fighter jets during World War II, but by the late 1940s, use of the site decreased. The end of the war eliminated the need for staffing fire lookouts as a part of the war effort. Concurrently, a paradigmatic shift was occurring within the U.S. Forest Service regarding the monitoring of public lands for forest fires. After World War II, airplanes were used for fire monitoring instead of lookout towers. The Hahns Peak Lookout, along with many other lookouts in the Forest Service system, was taken off-line.

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Read about Hahns Peak Rehabilitation 


Crossan’s M & A Market in the Media

Call of the Wild Auction in Yampa a success, History Colorado Blogs, August 23rd, 2016

Todd Park Mohr Performs in Yampa July 30, donates guitar for Crossans Market, Steamboat Pilot and Today, June 29, 2016

Crossans’ Market lands $400,000 grant, Steamboat Pilot and Today, April 2, 2015

Crossan’s M&A Market spans the history of Yampa in South Routt, Steamboat Pilot and Today, August 10, 2012

Crossan’s Market, Colorado Preservation Inc., Originally Published 2012, updated 2017

Yampa residents breathe new life into 108-year-old landmark, Steamboat Pilot and Today, June 18, 2011


Crossan’s M & A Market Photo Gallery

Crossan's M & A Market

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Crossan’s M & A Market Thank You

Thank you

The rehabilitation of the Crossan’s M & A Market is becoming a reality, thanks to the perseverance of volunteers in our community. This project showcases how a small group of determined individuals working together with outstanding and committed partners can indeed re-establish vitality in a small rural town by saving an iconic building. The Friends of Crossan’s have contributed over 8,000 collective volunteer hours in both the physical protection of the building and fundraising coordination. They have raised over $127,000 from generous individual donors.

This project is being paid for in part by State Historical Fund grants from History Colorado, and Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs, as well as gracious donations from many other entities and community donors including: the Laura Jane Musser Fund, Gates Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, Boettcher Foundation, Yampa Valley Electric Association, Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Museum and Heritage Advisory Board of the Routt County Commissioners.


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