Historic Preservation at YVLT’s Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve: “Bank Barn” Rehabilitated!

The Rehder Ranch “Bank Barn” sits in the foreground; the Main House is visible in the distance.


YVLT’s 250-acre Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve is a wildlife stronghold (*updated with photos from 2015*) – but it’s also filled with cultural and historical significance!

What began as a pioneer homestead for the Rehder family at the beginning of the 20th century transformed over time into a viable working ranch with permanent buildings, thanks to Henry Rehder’s hard-work, resourcefulness and classic Routt County ingenuity.

The 1920s-era Rehder Ranch “Bank Barn” is a rare example of barn architecture in the Yampa River Basin.  The Colorado State Historical Fund and National Trust for Historic Preservation agreed, awarding YVLT historic preservation grants to stabilize and rehabilitate this unique structure, as well as prepare a Historic Structure Assessment for all historic structures on the property.






Wondering why it’s called a “bank barn?” 

Wikipedia explains: “A bank barn or banked barn is a style of barn noted for its accessibility, at ground level, on two separate levels. Often built into the side of a hill, or bank, both the upper and the lower floors area could be accessed from ground level, one area at the top of the hill and the other at the bottom. The second level of a bank barn also could be accessed from a ramp if a hill was not available.”

The loft – now a caretaker’s unit – was used to store hay, while the lower level housed livestock.  This layout allowed easier access to the hay bales.

The Bank Barn also drew the interest of students at the University of Denver, who prepared a Historic American Building Survey for the Rehder Ranch; their work is now archived in the Library of Congress!

Click the HABS drawings to enlarge.


Thank you to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Colorado State Historical Fund for your contributions to this historic preservation project!