Hartman Angus Ranch
Recognition Award Winner
Year of Award: 1998
Original Use: Dairy
Current Use: Cattle, Hay
When Dennis and Barbara Hartman first drove by "The Old Ware Ranch" in the Bijou Basin southeast of Denver, they were intrigued by the beautiful old barn that stood forlorn and neglected. Six months later they became the proud owners of the 1900-acre ranch that had once been a show place of Elbert County. The ranch consisted of the 1929 Gothic-roofed dairy barn and 14 other outbuildings.
All of the buildings needed repair and paint, they decided to tackle the barn first. "The ceiling was black, the manure was two feet deep and the haymow was filled with a lot of junk and old hay," says Barbara Hartman. But the barn was structurally sound, and after cleaning and painting the Hartmans were able to put it back to use.
Fortunately, the Hartmans own a painting business, and two years after they purchased the ranch the buildings are sparkling like new. They have preserved and put to use all of the buildings. Some, like the farmhouse, horse barn, chicken house, shop and garage, are used for their original purpose. Others have been converted for new uses, including a show barn (used for registered bull calves), milk house (used for storage), ice house (used for irrigation equipment), and water tank/bunkhouse (used for an office). The Hartmans deserve a great deal of credit for preserving not only the barn but also the many smaller outbuildings that contribute to a complete picture of an early 20th century ranch complex.