The Graves Camp, a Larimer County Historical Treasure

On April 28th, Ron Sladek led a tour of the Graves Camp in the northeastern part of Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. He covered the history of the site from around 1830, when trappers frequently passed through, all the way up to the present day. What follows are photographs from that tour.


The Graves Camp (Photo by Ron Sladek taken prior to the tour.)

Our tour began with transportation because the road we were standing on began as a trappers’ trail in the 1830s. (Photo by Jennifer Mayan Kaylor.)

The old trapper road which later became the stage line road.

We haven’t made it to the buildings yet because there’s so much interesting history on this property that happened even before the first building was built.

Ron Sladek was our tour guide. He has studied the history of this property for the City of Fort Collins which now owns the land.

This outhouse has seen better days. On the tour we learned that the fact that the seating was diagonal meant that it was likely built using a Works Progress Administration (WPA) design.

The red building behind Ron was used as the cook’s cabin. (Photo by Jennifer Mayan Kaylor.)

The cook’s cabin at the Graves Camp.

Learning about the cook’s cabin.

The cook stove inside the cook’s cabin.

You can barely make out the sign, but it says Warren Live Stock across the top.

Resting while listening to Ron talk about the Warren Livestock Corporation.

This chicken coop was probably moved here from elsewhere. Can you guess what gives away the fact that the building was probably repurposed?

Look at the door latch — creative!

The lambing shed is to the right in this photo and the horse barn to the left.

The lambing shed. It’s huge!

Inside the lambing shed. Lambs in trouble would be transported by “Lambulance.”