the rocky mountain land library

Colorado Bookworms Create A New Kind of Library


Need a place to get away from it all, but not away from the love and magic of literature? Jeff Lee and Ann Martin have just the place for you. Taking inspiration from Gladstone’s Library in Wales, the Rocky Mountain Land Library will be a “live-in library” for writers, researchers, and lay readers desiring a naturally beautiful locale to read and learn.


the library in colorado at night

Image courtesy of Rocky Mountain Land Library


The pair, both employees at Denver’s Tattered Cover Bookstore, looked far and wide for an appropriate site before finally deciding on the abandoned Buffalo Peaks Ranch in mountainous Fairplay, Colorado. Established in 1862, the once-prosperous ranch has sat uninhabited for nearly 25 years. Thanks to the organization HistoriCorps and the University of Colorado architecture students, however, Lee and Martin are well on their way to successfully renovating the structure and opening it up to the public. Their Kickstarter campaign even raised $140,000 to renovate the building that will hold the library’s first book collection.


a view of the ranch

Image courtesy of Colorado Public Radio


Fittingly, the Rocky Mountain Land Library will focus on the history, culture, and ecology of the American West; Lee and Martin have already hosted several workshops there on topics covering everything from poetry to wetland plants.


lee with books

Image courtesy of Cold Splinters


“You can come, read a book at the library, and you can spend part of the day going out onto the ranch lands or the surrounding areas, and you’re still learning. It’s a really vibrant, immersive learning experience,” Lee said.


Featured image courtesy of Vail Daily.