History: Ranchers preserve legacy | AspenTimes.com
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History: Ranchers preserve legacy

Aspen Historical Society
Special to the Sun

On Aug. 13, 1981, The Aspen Times printed this image of Sam Stapleton, Matt Oblock, Carl Bergmen and Jens Christiansen at the Christiansen Ranch on Owl Creek Road with a piece of ranching equipment, a thresher/separator, that was donated to the Aspen Historical Society Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum.

The Oliver Farm Equipment Co. produced the Red River Special line of threshers from 1917 to 1948. Sheaves of cereal grasses such as wheat, oats, rye and barley, already cut and bound, were fed into the machine to be separated into straw, chaff and the seed (grain). The straw was blown out of the top of the thresher, while the chaff and grain were separated and bagged.

In the Roaring Fork Valley, threshers were shared between various ranches. An expensive piece of equipment like this thresher would be taken to each ranch when their grain crop was ready for separating. The ranchers would assist one another for this part of the harvest, and the ranch wives would prepare food for all the helpers.

Editor’s note: This page is a partnership between the Snowmass Sun and the Aspen Historical Society with

two primary goals in mind: to improve the knowledge of Snowmass history in the region and to collect historical photographs of the Snowmass region for the society. If you have pieces of history to donate, please send them to

archives@aspenhistory.org or call 970-925-3721.


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