Kendall home among oldest occupied homestead cabins here
June 18, 2008
Steamboat Springs — When Jim Kendall and his late mother, Nell, moved into their log cabin on Yellowjacket Pass in 1962, it needed a little attention.
The previous residents had been sheep.
Forty-six years later, Kendall and his wife, Judy, continue to make a modern home in the snug house that dates back to the late-19th century.
Historic Routt County recognized the Kendalls and the Henderson family – Nell’s side of the family tree – for maintaining one of the oldest original homestead buildings still occupied in Routt County.
Judging from the old newspapers that once served as insulation in the original cabin, it could have been built as early as 1898.
June 12 was a night for recognizing a number of historic preservation achievements, as Historic Routt County held its annual meeting in the red Mesa Schoolhouse, just south of Steamboat Springs.
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The Kendall Ranch was among three area ranches acknowledged for cooperating with a formal historic building survey. The others were the More Ranch and Barn (accepted by the Bob Comes family of the Steamboat Barn Village subdivision), and the Warren/Hoogendoorn Ranch, which is under a conservation easement.
Historic Routt County also acknowledged caretakers of properties newly listed on the Routt County Historic Register. The honorees included the Town of Yampa, for Crossan’s M&A Market; Fawna Odom, for the Hi-Way Bar in Hayden; Dona Steele, for the conservation of the Remington House in Old Town Steamboat; and the Green family for the Elkhead School.
Arianthe Stettner, co-founder and former executive director of Historic Routt County, received the Preservation Leadership Award. Board consultant Nancy Kramer was given special recognition for her contributions and Towny Anderson was introduced as the successor to outgoing executive director Todd Hagenbuch.
Nell Henderson Kendall’s family first came to South Routt in 1939 and acquired her future home in the log cabin along with a ranch property.
Judy Kendall said her mother was an exceptional person.
“She was one of the hardest-working women I’ve ever known,” Kendall said. “If you talk to anyone who knew her, they’ll say that. She loved living here, and she loved the ranch.”
The Kendalls have remodeled the home throughout the years to accommodate their family – the thin pressed board that once lined the interior walls has been replaced by gypsum board, and new windows have been installed. However, the oldest part of the house still is a chinked log exterior.
The Kendalls continue to raise cattle. Jim has worked for the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. for 26 years as a snow grooming operator in the winter and a heavy equipment operator in the summer. Judy takes care of a grandchild in her home while working as a quilt finisher.