Johnny Soderberg was born to John and Wilhelmina in 1912 and grew up in the Horsetooth Valley north of what was the town of Stout. His first job at 15 years old was farming and ranching for neighbors (the Butlers) who lived 4 miles away, for $30/month. As a young man, Johnny hunted deer with a 30-30 Winchester and trapped coyotes, skunks, and bobcats and sold the furs. At one point the Soderberg brothers had their own sawmill and harvested mostly ponderosa pine and some Douglas fir from Horsetooth Mountain. Later, after selling the majority of the ranch to Larimer County, Johnny and his brothers Carl, Harry, and Paul, purchased a ranch in Wyoming and Johnny would spend time helping his brothers hay on the Ranch for weeks at a time.
The Herringtons moved to the Horsetooth Valley in the 1880’s, and Mrs. Herrington was the original homesteader of the current “Soderberg Homestead Open Space” property. The original ranch was ~1,100 acres, and the Herringtons both ranched and grew hay. After selling the Lesher Ranch, Wilhelmina, and four of the children, Johnny, Carl, Harry, and Ellen, bought the “Old Herrington Ranch.” The 2,055 square foot ranch-style house on the property was built in 1889 and has been remodeled and additions made since. The homestead includes the ranch house, which features turn-of-the-century ranch architecture and several historic out-buildings. The original entrance to the house was on the north side across the stone bridge. When Johnny moved to the house in 1947, he added the front addition that includes what is now the kitchen. In 1986, the Soderbergs added a third addition including the garage, living room and east deck. The outbuildings on the property include what was formerly a dwelling house the Herrington’s and friends stayed in for short periods. This two-story plastered building, came to be called the “Herringtons Chicken House” because both the Soderbergs and Herringtons kept chickens there at one time. There is a stone garage built by Mr. Herrington for his Model T car that is located just north of the house. There is a wooden barn west of the chicken house built jointly by Mr. Herrington and Johnny in the late 1920’s and a log grainery to the west of the barn. A loafing shed built in the 1950’s is located out near Shoreline Drive. To the west of the house there is a stone well house that also was used as a cellar for storing food.
Virginia Rose Grigg, born in the Ozarks region of Arkansas, came to Pueblo, Colorado at age 18 to attend X-ray technician school. Virginia met Johnny through his sister Ellen and they were married in 1980 in Arkansas and returned to Colorado to live at the “Old Herrington House.” Johnny and Virginia had no children, but many nieces and nephews (interview, Johnny and Virginia Soderberg 1999).