Snowmass history: Rooted in ranching
Ranching was the primary activity along Brush Creek prior to Snowmass developing into a ski area in 1967. Many ranching families made a living raising cattle, sheep and growing potatoes, hay, grains and their personal gardens. They even brought in fruit trees in the late 1800s, which didn’t do so well due to the late spring frosts and early winters. It was a close-knit community tied to ranches along Owl Creek as well as the ranches in what today is called Old Snowmass. Spring was the time to start plowing fields for the summer crops, and in 1945 life wasn’t that much different from the earlier years. Families often still used horses to pull their plows since tractors were expensive to purchase and maintain.
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