Spring Creek Ranch: 100 years of history

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SUN photo/Casey Crow Donald and Fern Shahan, of Chromo, have been honored by being named owners of a Centennial Farm. Their ranch has been in the family for over 100 years. The Shahans acquired Spring Creek Ranch in 1975, where they raised their family and eventually entered the land into an easement to keep it undeveloped.
SUN photo/Casey Crow
Donald and Fern Shahan, of Chromo, have been honored by being named owners of a Centennial Farm. Their ranch has been in the family for over 100 years. The Shahans acquired Spring Creek Ranch in 1975, where they raised their family and eventually entered the land into an easement to keep it undeveloped.

The southwest has a unique and fascinating history, one of pioneering families, wagon trains and cowboys slinging guns (and subsequently starting cemeteries) in the “wild west.”

As our towns and cities continue to grow and thrive, this history often fades into the background of new development and rapidly changing technologies.

Thankfully, there are still those people dedicated to preserving the history of the region and conserving the land. One such couple, Donald and Fern Shahan, is doing just that.

Donald, better known as Donnie, and Fern Shahan, of Chromo, were recently honored by being named the owners of a Colorado Centennial Farm.

In 1986, Colorado Gov. Richard D. Lamm, the Colorado Historical Society and the Colorado Department of Agriculture conceptualized the Colorado Centennial Farms program to honor the role of agriculture in Colorado history.

Today, the program is facilitated by the State Historical Fund and History Colorado organization.

This year, 22 Colorado families who have owned and operated their farm or ranch for 100 years or more were honored with the Centennial Farms award.

The Shahans were among the honorees for Spring Creek Ranch in Chromo, a ranch that has been in the family since 1909.

Donnie and Fern Shahan are both gentle, pleasant and soft-spoken.

They first met in Bayfield at a school-sponsored country dance. Fern Shahan was a senior in high school and Donnie Shahan was six years older.

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