Historic Arnold Barn moves to new home near base of Steamboat Resort
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Glenn Arnold had a good vantage point as he stood on a knoll Thursday, Oct. 18, and watched as his family’s now-iconic barn as it was moved to become the new gateway to Steamboat Resort.
“I didn’t think they could do it,” Arnold said. “That’s a huge project. Something that old, it could have fell apart.”
Glenn and his wife, Helen Arnold, said they wished Glenn’s older brother, Gerald Arnold, could have been there to see the final fate of the old dairy barn, which was built in 1928.
Gerald died in September 2017.
“He was really into this,” Glenn said.
Members of the Save the Arnold Barn movement learned Thursday the barn’s new home was still going to be on a part of the 160 acres of land the brothers and their father Walter farmed.
Glenn pointed to the property line on the grassy knoll that is now home to The Steamboat Grand.
“We skied on the hill, and we built little jumps,” Glenn said. “It was just great for skiing.”
Glenn said it an emotional day that brought back a lot of good memories.
“I think it’s gonna look great sitting there,” Glenn said. “I couldn’t imagine, but now it all comes together. That’s gonna be something.”
A monumental three-year effort by community members went into stabilizing and then moving the barn that has been somewhat hidden below Mount Werner Road next to the Meadows Parking Lot.
Property disputes, a lawsuit, funding and a land donation from The Steamboat Grand finally made the move possible.
“I am dumbstruck,” Arianthe Stettner said as she walked along with the barn as it was pulled by a truck up the road. Stettner led the Save the Arnold Barn group, and they passed out buttons to commemorate the event.
“There are times when we wondered, and we pulled it off,” said Paul Ferguson, who moved to Steamboat in 1971.
Steamboat Springs City Council in December approved $441,000 to relocate and restore the barn, replace The Steamboat Grand sign and make other improvements such as a new trail.
Tread of Pioneers Museum Executive Director Candice Bannister said she was at a loss for words as she reflected on all the work that went into saving the barn.
“It’s just a wonderful feeling to be here,” Bannister said. “So many things had to come together.”
Many residents including The Steamboat Grand Vice President and General Manager Mike Lomas came to witness the history that was being made and cherished.
“I think it will be very nice here after the many years it took to make this happen,” Lomas said.
Stabilizing the barn and readying it to be moved involved methodical work.
Bill Bailey, with Bailey House Movers out of Grand Junction, recalled visiting the barn for the first time about a year ago.
“Oh, dear Lord, how are we going to straighten this out?” Bailey said was his reaction.
Bailey had moved an old barn before, but the Arnold Barn had a serious droop that needed to be straightened out so it would not crumble.
Fox Construction stabilized the barn and worked with Bailey to prepare it to be lifted from the ground.
“This is my first move, so it’s been very interesting and scary at times,” Fox Construction foreman Robert Nelson said.
Bailey said the move was a complete success, and it was a fun project to work on.
“This was a grassroots movement, so I’m happy for these people,” Bailey said.