Jarvie Ranch has deep roots

Annual festival gives residents opportunity to tour historic site

It's nearly a 90-mile drive whether a person's coming from the nearest Colorado, Utah or Wyoming town, but hundreds will make it Saturday for the ninth annual Jarvie Ranch summer festival.

The yearly event will feature music, mountain man demonstrations, children's activities, American Indian skills demonstrations, blacksmithing and a skillet-throwing contest.

Each year, the event draws 300 to 400 residents from three states to the historic site. This year, the festival will begin at 10 a.m. and go until ... well, 5 p.m. is the best guess.

"If people are still having a good time, we're not going to shut down," volunteer caretaker Viola Hall said.

The Browns Park Homemaker's Club will have a booth selling food, but Hall recommends that people bring drinks and snacks.

Visitors also should bring chairs to sit in while they enjoy folk and Western music provided by Craig and Lorraine Curry.

It's going to be a fun day," Hall said. "Rain or shine we're going to do it."

Visitors also can tour a site steeped in history.

Scotsman John Jarvie and his wife of three days, Nellie, moved to Browns Park in 1880 to a location near a natural stream crossing on the Green River.

The entrepreneur saw a need for a general store in the area. At that time, the nearest stores were in Rock Springs, Wyo., or Vernal, Utah.

Jarvie, an astute businessman, also had mining and livestock interests in the area.

Five of the homestead's original buildings still stand: The dugout home, a stone house used for storage, the barn, corral and blacksmith shop. All are filled with items from that period, and the house is fully furnished.

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