1950s Sig and Ruth Sporleder on the moun

Sporleder Centennial Ranch

Become part of our rich history

    The Sporleder Family history in Southern Colorado began in the 1860s.

 

    Inspired by stories from his Uncle August Sporleder who had established a hotel in the mid to late 1860’s in the tiny community of La Plaza de los Leones, at the base of the Spanish Peaks, 16 year old Louis B. Sporleder travelled by train from St. Louis to Denver, and then by stagecoach until he reached the Spanish Peaks region on July 4, 1875.

    When Louis arrived, the tiny little plaza, which had been renamed Walsenburg in December 1870 and incorporated in 1873, was home to fewer than 100 people.

Louis began ranching and trading shortly after his arrival and in 1915, started purchasing the land which now encompasses approximately 790 square acres of pristine mountain splendor across two parcels of land in the shadow of the East Spanish Peak. His kids, grandkids, great and great-great grandkids have owned and operated the ranch for the last 100 years. 

 

Louis Bernhardt Sporleder, Sr.jpg
Pine Kone.jpg

    Early on, the ranch was advertised as a recreational retreat and offered campsites to the public for a small fee.  Later visitors to the ranch could rent furnished cabins, and hire saddle horses by the day or hour. 

 

    Louis B. Sporleder was a prolific writer on western history, and he is credited with interviewing some of the very first European settlers to the area as well as the Latinos and Native Americans who have lived in this area for a much longer time. One journalist described him as a “one-man walking Chamber of Commerce” because of how much work he did trying to draw people into the area. Today, a great deal of Sporleder’s historical writings are housed in the Western History Collection of the Denver Public Library,  available to researchers upon application. He was prolific- his work takes up nearly seven feet of shelf space. The local history museum has a significant collection comprised of artifacts from the Sporleder family.  

2015 Sept Mauricio from subirrigated mea

    Today, Louis B.’s family is still here and still in love with this land. Three cabins built around 1917 are still in use today, and the old farmhouse, (which was already on the property when Louis bought it) is slowly undergoing restoration.  The ranch was designated a Colorado Centennial Ranch in 2018 by the Colorado State Senate and House of Representatives, and was also given an Historic Structures award at that time for the cabins and farmhouse.  Now we are seeking to put it into a conservation easement so that we can ensure that this beautiful and historic corner of the world remains undivided and unbesmirched for now and forever after.

 

    This is the land which we want to share with you. It has touched the hearts of nearly everyone who has ever come into contact with it, and we hope you will consider making it a part of your story too. 

"The world up here is silent, save the gentle splash of water, which threads its way past grassy slopes and fern-fringed banks over the gravelly bottom of the winding little brook."
-Louis B. Sporleder