Water conservation

Hubbard Cabin along the Yampa River added to the Routt County Register of Historic Places

The Hubbard Hut, also called the Sarvis Hut, in 2014, just before the property was purchased by the Bureau of Land Management. Last week, the cabin was added to the Routt County Register of Historic Places.
Office of Land Management / Courtesy Photo

The Routt County Board of Commissioners added a 66-year-old cabin in the woods along the Yampa River south of Steamboat Springs to the local Register of Historic Places last week.

Hubbard Cabin, also called Sarvis Cabin due to its proximity to Sarvis Creek, was once part of a large ranch that was eventually swallowed up by Stagecoach Reservoir.

The Bureau of Land Management now owns the cabin, but a 2018 study found it did not meet the criteria to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. Historic Routt County Board Member Emeritus Arianthe Stettner said he still met the county’s criteria.

“(Federal officials) didn’t want to be forced to have that level of rigor in terms of going forward,” Stettner told commissioners on Tuesday, Oct. 12. “However, Routt County has enjoyed its historic resources on a very sincere level and it meets the criteria of the Routt County Historic Register.

The cabin is approximately 14 miles south of Steamboat and is accessible via Routt County Road 18, a road open to vehicles only part of the year. The cabin is situated on a 45 acre parcel in a small meadow about 36 feet from the edge of the river.

Robert Hubbard was a former Steamboat mayor who came to Routt County in 1931 and was involved in the liquidation of the Yampa and Hayden banks during the Great Depression. After purchasing the property in 1942, the Hubbard family would spend summers camping along the Yampa River until the cabin was built in 1956.

In the winter, the Hubbard family lived in Steamboat, which was common in the Yampa Valley before vehicles and snow-ploughed roads were popular, Stettner said.

“The family lived in tents, rode horses, and tended cattle and sheep,” the building’s application for listing on the register reads. “They would sometimes go to Steamboat to stock up and take a nice bath, then return to their camp.”

Hubbard and his wife Betty died in 1980 and 1978 respectively, about a decade before much of the ranch was incorporated into the Stagecoach Reservoir in 1989. The 45-acre parcel on which Hubbard Cabin sits is all that remains of the ranch.

The plot was rarely used after their deaths and in 2014 was purchased by the BLM for conservation and public recreation with funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Stettner said the cabin meets two criteria to be added to the Routt County Register of Historic Places. First, it illustrates the county’s cultural, economic, social or historical heritage and second, it has a unique location that makes it a familiar visual feature in the county, the application states.

“It may not meet a lot of criteria that we would normally associate with a historic designation, but I think it qualifies,” Commissioner Tim Corrigan said. “It’s an important part of Routt County.”

Stettner pointed out that they are constantly changing their mindset about what it means to get historic designation, noting that the 1972 buildings are now 50 years old.

“It’s simple, it’s not a fancy build,” Stettner said. “It’s so convenient, it’s so Routt County. That’s what makes it so perfect.