From the Vault
The Lower Blue River Valley
The Isaac Charles (I.C.) Palmer Ranch
This image shows the I.C. Palmer Ranch north of Dillon in the Blue River Valley.
Photograph Courtesy of the Summit Historical Society Collections; The Irma Moore Collection.
Due to the wide valley and open space, the Lower Blue River Valley, now the North of Silverthorne, was home to many flourishing homesteaders and ranches. Slate Creek, which sat at the base of Ute Peak, between Silverthorne and Heeney, was a small ranchers town with a schoolhouse and community center.
Blue River Valley, Dillon, Colorado
The landscape of the Blue River Valley.
Photograph Courtesy of the Summit Historical Society Collections; The Doug Pierce Collection.
The Lower Blue River Valley was home to many homesteads. Some of these homesteads were very successful, including the Knorr Ranch, which at one point grew to 11,000 acres and was moved when the Green Mountain Reservoir was built in 1938. The original homesteader, William Guyselamn, sold the ranch to his daughter Corinne and his son-in-law William (Billy) Knorr. The ranch stayed in the family for generations. Interested in learning more about Homesteaders in Summit County? Click Here to go to our interactive map!
Slate Creek Bridge in 1923
This image shows the newly built Slate Creek bridge over the Blue River in 1923.
Photograph Courtesy of the Summit Historical Society; The K. Lindstrom Collection.
Older Man and Girl in Dress Standing in a Field in the Lower Blue River Valley
This image shows an older man and a little girl in a dress standing in a field in the Lower Blue River Valley.
Photograph Courtesy of the Summit Historical Society; The Frances Long Collection.
What is a Homestead?
The Homestead Act of 1862 was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862. The act defined how federal land could be distributed. Federal land was divided into 160 acres (approximately), and land offices were established for individuals. Men and women who were heads of household, over the age of 21 could apply for a petition. They had to develop the land, build a house, and live on the land for 5 years. When requirements were met, or “proved up”, they received a patent that granted them official ownership.
Tag Us In Your Photos
Think you have seen where these images were taken? We challenge you to go out and get an identical picture and tag us on social media @summithistorical. Keep an eye out for your post to be featured on our page!