Blogger, Molly Killien, Chamber Staff Member

Looking for some fun facts about Steamboat Springs on this Western Wednesday? Here are some great little tidbits reminding us all why this part of Colorado really is the WEST.

- Routt County produces over 100,000 tons of hay each year.

- When snowfall gets so deep that it reaches the top wire of ranchers’ fences, it’s called a “three wire winter.”

- Routt County is home to: 22,397 mother cows/calves pairs, 14,807 yearling steer, 8,903 sheep and goats, 3,501 horses and 22,980 people. Yep almost as many cows are there are people!

- There are 610 ranches and farms in Routt County.

- George Baggs first introduced cattle (Texas longhorns) into the area in 1871. Sheep ranchers started introducing their flocks in early 1890, and the notorious range wars ensued during the next five years. Ranching remains a Yampa Valley mainstay.

- Lincoln Avenue (U.S. Hwy 40) was built wide enough to accommodate cattle being driven to stockyards that were on the west end of town where they were loaded onto cattle cars.

- By 1913, more cattle were shipped from the Steamboat rail yard than any other single point in the U.S. (Down the line, Hayden held a similar record for shipping sheep). In those early days when cattle were shipped onto trains and sent to sale, the cattle's face would turn dark black from the train smoke going through tunnels. Those blackened faced cattle would sell for a higher price because the buyer knew they came from the mountains.

- The first mention of competitive rodeo events in Steamboat’s local newspaper dates back to at least 1898. These days, the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series takes place weekly throughout the summer, downtown every Friday and Saturday night at the Romick Arena.

- F.M. Light & Sons is Steamboat’s oldest retail business and is still owned and operated by the founding family. It’s been at the same spot on Lincoln Avenue since 1905