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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
 
Pratt Home & Cottonwood Ranch Marker image, Touch for more information
By Bill Kirchner, September 22, 2014
Pratt Home & Cottonwood Ranch Marker
SHOWN IN SOURCE-SPECIFIED ORDER
1Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — Pratt Home & Cottonwood Ranch
There are two markers, side by side. The First Pratt Home Abraham and Fent lived in a dugout along the river, approximately a quarter mile south of where you stand today. Later, in 1882, Tom Pratt joined his father and brother in . . . Map (db m77910) HM
2Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — Windmill and Water Cistern — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
A determined and innovative horticulturalist, Fent established an orchard and vineyard just south of the present highway. He grew apples, apricots, cherries, currants, grapes, and a variety of vegetables. Irrigation for the crops came from this . . . Map (db m156093) HM
3Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — The Pratt Family — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
Abraham Pratt and his sons prospered as successful businessmen, farmers, and ranchers. Fent married Yorkshire native Jennie Elizabeth Place in 1888. Life on the High Plains was very different from middle class England. At first Jennie did not like . . . Map (db m156096) HM
4Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — Stained Glass Windows — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
In 1896 the Pratts ordered stained glass windows from the Studley lumber yard. There are four such windows in the home. The window on this side of the house features the "buttons and bows" pattern and cost $8.70 when purchased in 1896. Other stained . . . Map (db m156097) HM
5Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — Washhouse and Yard Fence — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
Most women of early rural households designated one day of the week as washday. Separate washhouses were common in the 1890s, but the fine stonework, chimney, running water, wallpaper, and tin ceiling distinguish the Pratt washhouse. The concrete . . . Map (db m156098) HM
6Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — Yorkshire Ranching on the High Plains — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
Like many Kansas settlers, the Pratts built their home and outbuildings with influences from their native country. But unlike other early Kansas ranchers that raised cattle, the Pratts raised sheep. The way the outbuildings adjoin the stone wall is . . . Map (db m156099) HM
7Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — Working and Living Spaces — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
Springtime is shearing and lambing time on a sheep ranch. The Pratts hired shearers and sheepherders to help. These workers often did not live nearby, and they slept in the bunkhouse, which was also used for storage. The structure to the left housed . . . Map (db m156100) HM
8Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — East Shed — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
Behind this sign was a large stone shed that fell victim to a tornado in 1911. At the time, Fent's younger brother, Tom, was building onto his home about one-half mile west of here. Tom used most of the stones from this shed for his addition. A 1990 . . . Map (db m156101) HM
9Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — The Story of the Stones — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
The base of the yard fence in front of the house, and most of the walls of the house and washhouse were built with stones from the Ogallalah Formation. The stones were quarried from the slope behind the outbuildings and the Pratt's timber claim a . . . Map (db m156102) HM
10Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — Shearing the Sheep — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
Each spring the Pratts hired children from the area and equipped them with shepherding hooks. Their job was to drive a steady stream of sheep to the shearing shed, where hired shearers were paid five cents per sheep to hand-clip the wool. As fleeces . . . Map (db m156103) HM
11Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — John Fenton Pratt, Photographer — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
By the 1880s photography had become a popular and accessible hobby. Fent enjoyed photography and captured images of his English friends and family at parties and picnics.Map (db m156104) HM
12Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — Documenting the History of Sheridan County — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
Fent's photos depict Studley and other nearby communities as they entered the 20th century, showing the planting of trees, the conversion of sod schools to frame structures, and the replacement of horses by automobiles.Map (db m156105) HM
13Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — End of an Era — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
Fent sold all his sheep by 1904 amidst falling wool prices and a growing Kansas cattle industry. By 1936 Fent still owned 80 acres of the land that held the house and outbuildings, some pasture, and the cropland south of the highway. When he died in . . . Map (db m156107) HM
14Kansas (Sheridan County), Studley — After the Pratts — Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
The Kansas Historical Society purchased 23 acres of the ranch in 1982 and it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places the next year. The outbuildings were badly deteriorated. Beginning in 1986 extensive restoration work was undertaken. . . . Map (db m156108) HM
 
Apr. 21, 2021