Making guests feel warm and welcome is easy at Ghost Creek Ranch.
The historical log home, which sits off Routt County Road 14 on the way to Stagecoach Reservoir, was built nearly a century ago as an inn along the old stagecoach route from Wolcott to Hahn's Peak.
Sitting in the home's dining room, with its original pine floors, molding and recently-restored fireplace, it's not hard to imagine hearty smells wafting from the nearby kitchen and travelers' relief as they enjoyed warm meals and company before resuming their bumpy trip on the stagecoach.
"That spirit of hospitality is still here," said Jill Webb, who with her husband, Chuck Webb, is the latest in a string of owners and renters that has occupied the home since its early days as an inn.
Like their predecessors, the Webbs have made numerous improvements to the home and 22-acre property since purchasing it in 1995.
"This house to me belongs to the valley," Jill Webb said. "Everyone who has been here has taken gentle care of it."
The Webbs have taken up cattle ranching in Wyoming and recently listed Ghost Creek Ranch for sale. There will be an open house at the property, 27775 C.R. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.
The ranch is part of 160 acres originally homesteaded by Sheldon Carpenter, whose daughter, Myra Garberg, later built the inn on the property, then called LaJolla Ranch.
Although Routt County records show the inn was built in 1912, that may be when the county took record of it; it may have been built earlier, Jill Webb said.
At least six owners and numerous renters have occupied the property since the Garbergs. The Stettner and Iley families were the most recent owners before the Webbs.
Many former inhabitants still reside in the Yampa Valley, said Jill Webb, who has gathered stories and accounts of happenings in the home.
"I'm always running into people who have lived here or have been here," she said.
The Ileys named the ranch for the seasonal stream that runs through the property. A former occupant's story of hearing laughing and glasses clinking into the kitchen -- as if someone was cleaning up after a party -- may lend another ghostly aspect to the home, though if there are ghosts, "they are happy, friendly types," Jill Webb said.
Main aspects of the home remain relatively unchanged from when the stagecoach made its first stops there. In addition to original pine floors and molding, the home has original white plaster walls and wood-framed rope and pulley windows, which are protected by storm windows.
An old, claw-foot tub remains as well as several original sinks. Hollow wood columns still bolster the front porch. Shelves and cabinets were built into walls throughout the home, and the kitchen pantry has a screened in "pie safe" as well as shelves enclosed by glass doors.
Like many homes of its time, the Ghost Creek Ranch home only had a foundation beneath the kitchen. Slanted door molding in some rooms, and a bump in the hallway floor are because of some shifting that occurred before later owners extended and firmed the foundation, Jill Webb said.
With major structural improvements done, the Webbs focused mainly on cosmetic improvements such as refinishing floors and molding in some rooms and adding a large porch on the side of the home. The couple also replaced the home's old roof with a metal snow roof.
In the kitchen, the Webbs added wooden cabinets with glass doors as well as a modern, antique-style Heartland gas stove. Delicately painted strawberry vines accent the doorways.
Outside, the couple landscaped perennial flowerbeds and installed a pond and waterfall.
The 1,980-square-foot home includes two bedrooms, a den and large upstairs area with a modern bathroom and room for several more beds. An old-fashioned bathroom is on the main floor.
In addition to the wood-burning fireplace in the dining room, there is a freestanding gas stove in the living room.
To accommodate horses on the property, the Ileys built a modern barn about 10 years ago with six enclosed horse stalls and water. There also are several corrals and pastures on the property.
More outbuildings may be built on the property, and the house also could be expanded, though that may affect any historical designation goals for the home, said broker Brad Rutledge, who is listing the property.
The Webbs are asking $795,000 for the home and property. For more information or to schedule a showing, call Rutledge at 879-7733.