In 1908, Amos R. (A.R.) Brown moved from Iowa to Steamboat Springs. Upon his arrival, he found a thriving frontier town that was prosperous and yet isolated from the outside world. So A.R. and his uncle, a retired banker from Sioux City, in 1909 purchased the Merrill interests in the First National Bank of Steamboat Springs. The bank was in what is now the historic Rehder Building. A.R. became the cashier; his uncle was elected a director.
Although A.R. became a banker, he still loved farming. And during the Great Depression, he was able to acquire property west and south of town. The property to the west, he turned into a productive farm. In due course, his son Marvin began working the land, producing oats and wheat while raising his family.
1960 - 1980
In the 1960s Steve, Marvin’s son, returned home from college. Steve took over the management and daily work around the family farm, growing timothy hay, alfalfa and small grains while raising horses and cattle. Eventually he built a family house, a log barn and a horse barn for his wife Mary and another generation of Brown children.
1980 - 2007
By the early 1980s, the family moved into town and stopped farming. And by the mid 1990s, the 534-acre Brown ranch was identified as the preferred future growth area for the City of Steamboat Springs. The property was purchased in 2007 by an investment group but was never developed or annexed into the City of Steamboat Springs.
Then in 2021, thanks to the foresight and generosity of an anonymous donor, the property was purchased and gifted to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, with the expectation it would be used for long-term affordable housing opportunities for Routt County workers.