Dos Rios Ranch 1940s - Photo from biography

Western Colorado’s Original Cattleman

Alonzo Hartman was one of the first men to bring cattle into western Colorado. Hartman has a unique story with many alluring tales in his quest to settle the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. You can read a couple of the stories we have told about the Hartman Family!

Probably most notably Hartman was the original cattleman in Western Colorado. If you drive through the different counties on the Western slope you will regularly encounter signs stating messages about “Beef Country,” or “Cattle Country.” There is a great sense of pride surrounding cattle ranching throughout the area. To this day, the large summer event in Gunnison, Colorado is called Cattlemen’s Days, an ode to cattle and ranching in the area. The celebration which has been held since 1900, hosts a large rodeo and plenty of other family events. Alonzo Hartman was the original Cattle-Man!

Here is Hartman’s account of how Cattlemen’s Days came to exist.

The ranchers organized in 1884. They called it the Gunnison Cattlemen’s Association, and elected me their first president. We decided to have a Cattlemen’s celebration every year with racing, wild horse breaking, roping, horse quadrilles, bulldogging, and granite drilling by men from the Arberdeen Quarry, who got out blocks of granite for the state capital building. At first we had the events up and down Main Street, but later we made a racecourse and grandstand so we could charge admission and have money for prizes, Cattlemen’s Days had become an annual event.

Alonzo Hartman, Biography of Alonzo Hartman

Hartman Castle

After his stint as the first postman in Gunnison, Hartman and his wife built a large stone home on his ranch land. This original home still stands and has become known as Hartman’s Castle. The Alonzo Hartman Preservation Corporation are arranging to purchase the building and restore it to be a historic artifact as well as use the space for community events.

Alonzo Hartman Castle near Gunnison, Colorado in Pictures

Recently the project has been receiving an increase in publicity as it was chosen for an episode of Exploring Colorado, a series on Rocky Mountain PBS.

We have really enjoyed learning about the Hartmans and the history of western Colorado. We believe this heritage should be honored and preserved which is why we have been working with the Alonzo Hartman Preservation Corporation in Gunnison, Colorado to help spread awareness and funds for their efforts in preserving Hartman’s Castle! It is so incredible that Gunnison’s original Cattlemen’s house remains and this history is important to the area.

Hartman Castle Preservation Corp.

You can learn more about the project and about Alonzo Hartman at HartmanCastle.Org! Or, you can follow along on social media on Instagram (@hartmancastlepreservation) or Facebook (Hartman Castle Preservation). The non-profit organization also publishes a newsletter so you can know all the exact details about the project. Link to Newsletter

Applied Worldwide Lifestyle

Applied Worldwide Lifestyle is a lifestyle blog run by sociologists, nomads, and sustainable living enthusiasts Luke Hanna and Stephanie Wilson. It is focused on travel, food, photography, social history, and sustainable living. Join us in crafting a lifestyle that feels worth living!