HG Vickerman Ranch -- A Family Legacy

Nestled between the 14,000 foot peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west and the rugged Wet Mountains to the east, the HG Vickerman Ranch is a productive agricultural operation dating back nearly a century.

Throughout the years, the Ranch was gradually purchased by the Vickerman family whose original draw was to the Rosita area for silver mining.  In 1890, other family members moved to the region to pursue agriculture. Soon after in 1917, the original 160 acre parcel of the HG Vickerman Rach was purchased.

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The ranch consists of irrigated hay meadows and native dry land pastures with Grape Creek, an important drainage in the Valley, meandering through the lower hayfields. Middle and South Colony Creeks also flow through, joining Grape Creek on the Property.

HG Vickerman Ranch 2 - SILPT

The Ranch has been in agricultural use for nearly 100 years, with senior water rights, and a number of the original homestead structures still remain standing.

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Interesting relics remain on the ranch including this vintage license plate.

license

Today, the Ranch is managed by Milla Leu Vickerman and her son, Larry Vickerman, two daughters and son-in-law. It remains a productive and viable agricultural operation.

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In addition to being a 4th generation rancher and a board member for San Isabel Land Protection Trust, Larry is the Director of Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, a 700-acre farm and public garden in Littleton, Colorado. 

 

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 Larry is an avid botanist who can often be found in road side ditches looking for rare or unusual wildflowers.

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In fact, pictured here is Gaillardia. Its common name is 'Amber Wheels' Blanket Flower, and it is the only known domesticated wildflower from the Wet Mountain Valley. "Discovered" by Larry back in the mid-1990's, Larry originally sold the seed to Jellito Perennial Seed company in Germany. You can now purchase Blanket Flower from most seed companies or your local garden center.

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If you're lucky like we were here at San Isabel, Larry will take you wildflower hunting in his 1977 sea-foam green Ford truck.

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You might even have the special opportunity to see a badger (look closely)!

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And a white Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata).

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San Isabel is honored that the Vickerman family chose to put a conservation easement on their 720-acre ranch in 2009. Great Outdoors Colorado and the NRCS provided funding for the protection of this iconic western ranch. Through their exemplary land stewardship, the Vickermans are creating a Family Legacy for generations to come.

 

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