In 1995, current ownership entered into an agreement conserving and forever maintaining the open space character, agricultural activity, wildlife habitat, and scenic qualities of the property. The easement is held by the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust and generously allows for the construction of an additional residence of up to 15,000 square feet as well as additional employee housing and a separate ranch office.
Some of the outstanding photography herein was provided by Roger Wade of Roger Wade Studios, Chris Marona of Marona Photography, Natalie Heller and Joe Shom. (Contact information is available upon request.)
The utmost care, artistry, and planning make Centennial’s improvements unique as both a picturesque and operational ranch. The time-honored art of timber-framing, a self-supporting framework fastened with wooden joinery instead of nails, lends a rustic elegance to the primary residence and barn. Similarly inspired by tradition and of unmatched craftsmanship stands the line cabin on the river, built from hand-peeled and notched spruce logs with axe-cut ends. Extensive fencing, a historic calving barn, employee housing as well other operational facilities are in excellent condition for the operation of the ranch.
The stunning Arts & Crafts timber frame Dashwood House is nestled in a meadow among the trees on a long bend of the river. The 6,000+ square foot ranch home was built in 2003 to capture the best of the light, taking advantage of its San Juan mountain view while being shielded by the canyon walls to the east. Dashwood House celebrates features from all over the country including massive recycled Douglas fir for the timber frame, reclaimed Southern yellow pine for the flooring, iron hardware from artisan blacksmiths across the nation, and brick, stone and tile features throughout. The port cochere welcomes guests through the timber and iron doorway before being greeted by the vaulted Douglas fir timbers of the great room and warmth of the native stone fireplaces. A spacious brick-floored mudroom gives hard-working cowboys a place to kick off their boots before gathering around a cozy eat-in table in the country kitchen. Three bedroom suites, a library, an office, a separate guest or caretaker’s suite, and a three-car garage make Dashwood House the height of function and comfort.
Timber Frame Barn
The traditional timber frame barn is a landmark of the community, declared a historic barn by the Ouray County Historical Society in 1995, the same year it was constructed. Its Amish design accommodates both large working draft horses and saddle horses used in ranching operations. The barn houses many custom-designed features such as hand-forged hardware and a collection of farming and ranching memorabilia that adorn its tack and harness room, hayloft, loafing shed, grain room, and shed bay for wagons and equipment.
Authentic Line Cabin
A charming 650+ square foot log line cabin sits on the river, harkening back to a time when cowboys “worked the line” on the outer edges of the ranch, hunkering down for shelter and provisions. It is simultaneously a testament to the wild west with its working hand pump and kerosene lamps and a country getaway with its large stone fireplace and custom hand-forged chandelier. Its massive hand-notched log beams with axe-cut ends, gleaming pine flooring, and iron and stone features complement the Dashwood house and barn.
In addition to the landmark barn, the portion east of the river houses several buildings for ranching operations, including sheds, corrals, pens, and heavy fencing. A hand-hewn log house, one of the first structures built on the property in the 1880s, serves as headquarters during calving season. It is now an office attached to a modern calving shed. The extensive fencing is effective for both controlling livestock access to the fields and marking boundaries on the ranch. Attractive lodge pole fencing with cedar posts graces the entry from the highway and runs through much of the most visible parts of the property. Unpaved roads make internal navigation through the ranch easily accessible. An additional employee residence occupies the property on the west side of the highway.
Improvements at Centennial Ranch have been featured in multiple publications, such as the Architectural Digest, A Heritage in Iron, and A Ranching Legacy.