Whetstone Cabin

7N Ranch

This beautiful land was part of the summer hunting grounds of the Ute Indians from the 14th century. The area in a triangle between Hayden, Yampa, and Steamboat Springs became known as TwentyMile Park, likely because it was approximately 20 miles from each town. The park was a favorite grazing area for many cow outfits in the early 1880’s.

When the land went up for homestead claim in 1886, John Adam Whetstone and Hattie Cowley Whetstone became the first caucasian settlers on Trout Creek. Over the years, they added to their homestead claim and developed the 680 acre 7N ranch, considered one of the finest ranches in the area. John and Hattie’s cabin is still evident along CR 179 near the Whetstone Reservoir. Whetstone reservoir was developed by John to power the water wheel for the ranch’s sawmill. It would be crossed by many wagons carrying coal in the winter from the Chergo mine to Steamboat. County Road 33 was finally completed to connect the Yampa valley in 1915 over Twentymile Divide. In 1925, John and Hattie moved to California and the ranch was sold to Henry J. and Mattie Elmer Summer who continued to run purebred cattle under the 7N brand.

7N joined the Twentymile Threshing Association, and shared one of the first steam tractors and separators with other farmers in the area. Cattle from the Twentymile area were the first from Routt County to pass by train through the newly completed Moffat tunnel in 1928.

The depression years were very difficult for the Summers. Henry took a job as a meat cutter at the Hayden Mercantile Company for several years. Only through perseverance, were the Summers able to see their way clear on the ranch. They eventually moved to New Mexico in 1956.

Trout Creek was named for the extremely large native trout caught in the stream. Miners at the nearby Chergo mine would frequently fish here to keep food on the table when the mine was closed for cutbacks. Also more gold was panned here during the Depression than at Hahn’s Peak, sometimes as much as $2-$3 per man per day.

Creek Ranch

Creek Ranch

In 1997 Brent and Robin Romick created Creek Ranch LLC as a ranch preservation community. They restored the length of Trout creek fencing it to protect it from grazing damage and planting extensively. They developed an innovative vision in protecting the land thereby preserving sensitive habitats, natural landscape and Western values.

"Creek Ranch represents a labor of love and respect for the land and it's inhabitants. Use of the next century's development techniques has insured man, livestock, wildlife, fish and our feathered friends cannot only co-exist, but flourish. The Creek Ranch has combined the real ranch lifestyles with amenities, which allow our owners the same benefits of large and very expensive, management extensive, whole ranch ownership. No where else in the Rocky Mountains will you find, at a better price, all the recreation, open space, wildlife, fishing and the Western, ranch lifestyle which makes Creek Ranch a user friendly investment so many seek for their primary, secondary and/or retirement home."

-Brent Romick

In 1999, Creek Ranch LLC became the property of the Creek Ranch Owners Association. The Owners Association continues to improve upon the vision of a working ranch preservation community.

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