The Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway lets you experience ranching as it was 100 years ago. The Beckwith Ranch, the cattle operation of two brothers Elton and Edwin Beckwith from Maine, once had 3,000 acres, 7,000 head of cattle and 200 horses. On the largest ranch in Colorado, the Beckwith’s owned roughly half of all the cattle in the Wet Mountain Valley at the time. They were instrumental in the United Rocky Mountain Cattlemen’s Association to fight cattle rustling and Elton served one term in the Colorado state senate. When he started a family, the original hewn-log cabin was expanded into the irregular Victorian house that exists today, the roof raised to create two stories, the walls covered with siding and a kitchen wing, pantry, and the striking porte cochere added. In the 1890s they built a bunkhouse, icehouse, garage, cattle barn, horse barn, and servants’ quarters, unifying the complex with white walls and red roofs. Today, the restored home, bunkhouse, outbuildings and corrals have been restored and are open for touring. Most of the original ranch lands have been re-acquired as well.
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