Winter Home :: luxury vacation rental homes and chalets Steamboat A Brief History of Steamboat Springs Ranching
The Steamboat Springs area and North Routt County have a rich history in mining and ranching. Historically, Steamboat Springs flourished as an agricultural center, and its cowboy heritage thrived with it. Both cattle and sheep ranching have remained as major industries in the Yampa valley, along with wheat and hay production and coal mining.
Until the 1920’s, cattle ranching was the largest single industry in the area. In 1912 strawberries were marketed throughout the country from the area a few miles north of downtown know as Strawberry Park.
Several legendary cowboys and outlaws passed through Steamboat, including Butch Cassidy, Kit Carson and Jeff Bridger. Steamboat's rodeo grounds were built in 1909. Back in those days, the rodeo ring was made by spectators forming a circle. Today, Steamboat has a modern arena, and the area's rodeo traditions continue with the popular summer ProRodeo series.
Steamboat's ranching history is also evident in its main street, Lincoln Avenue, which was made wider than usual so ranchers could drive cattle down it. Every summer, Steamboat still holds a cattle drive down Lincoln Avenue as part of its Fourth of July celebration.