Sponsored by: Rocky Mountain Land Library and South Park Heritage Area

Located in Park County, CO

Session Dates:

Session 1
Tuesday, July 19 – Sunday, July 24
*Please arrive at Buffalo Peaks Ranch after 6:00pm on Tuesday, July 19th to meet the field staff and set up camp. Project work will begin at 8:00am on Wednesday, July 20th. The session will end at 1:00pm on Sunday, July 24th. 

Session 2
Tuesday, July 26 - Sunday, July 31
*Please arrive at Buffalo Peaks Ranch after 6:00pm on Tuesday, July 26th to meet the field staff and set up camp. Project work will begin at 8:00am on Wednesday, July 27th. The session will end at 1:00pm on Sunday, July 31st. 


Established in 1863 by French immigrants Adolph and Marie Guiraud, Buffalo Peaks Ranch is one of South Park’s oldest ranches and is an excellent representation of the ranching lifestyle and history in Park County. While the Guirauds lived part time in Denver, the vacant ranch served as a safe house for the Reynolds Gang during their stagecoach robbing spree. It is said that Adolph knew Jim Reynolds and provided this shelter to him a few days before the gang was caught and killed. After Adolph’s death, Marie continued running the ranch with their 10 children, becoming one of the wealthiest women in Colorado and amassing one of the largest fortunes in the South Park Area. In 1942, the ranch was purchased by the McDowell family, who increased the ranch’s size and production even further.

The property is now run by the Rocky Mountain Land Library (RMLL), which is working to restore and preserve the ranch as a cultural heritage site. They hope to renovate the ranch buildings to provide space for libraries, class and workshop rooms, art studios, residential quarters, and a large kitchen and dining facility. Learn more about the history of the ranch here and here. In 2015, a great article on the RMLL was published in the New York Times.

This is HistoriCorps' second season working at Buffalo Peaks Ranch. In 2015, our work on the property was featured on the Today Show and NBC Nightly News. Recently, HistoriCorps volunteer and author, Allison Amend, published an article about her experience on the project in the New York Times. Click here to read about Allison's experience on the Buffalo Peaks Ranch project.

Scope of Work:

HistoriCorps will be returning for a second season of preservation work at Buffalo Peaks Ranch. The work will primarily be focused on preserving the property's Cooks House. The restoration of the Cooks House will include:IMG_1815

  • Scraping, priming and painting the siding
  • Repairing and reglazing windows
  • Priming and painting doors

Project Location:
Located in the center of South Park, Colorado's high mountain grassland, Buffalo Peaks Ranch is situated along the Middle Fork of the South Platte River.

GPS Coordinates:
39.112733, -105.890513

From US 285 at Fairplay, CO, drive eight miles southeast on Colorado Highway 9.   Turn left into the driveway just before the South Platte Bridge. A developed parking area is immediately on the left, overlooking the ranch and river.

9,196 feet

Closest town:
South Park, Colorado

Accommodations, meals, attire and travel

  • HistoriCorps will provide volunteers with on-site camping.
  • Porta-potties will be available onsite. Showering will be available in town.
  • The site is accessible to campers.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own camping supplies including: tent, sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries.
  • Volunteers are responsible for their transportation to and from the project.
  • HistoriCorps will provide volunteers with breakfast, lunch, dinner, water and snacks.
  • The work day will last from 8:00am – 5:00pm with breaks for lunch, snacks and water in between.
  • Volunteers must come prepared with proper attire including: sturdy work shoes, long pants and a work shirt.

Age requirements:
14+ (individuals age 18 and below must be accompanied by an adult)

Volunteers needed:

8 volunteers

  • Session 1
    July 19, 2016 - July 24, 2016
  • Session 2
    July 26, 2016 - July 31, 2016