The 24-acre Cross Orchards Historic Site preserves part of a fruit ranch with more than 22,000 trees that was founded in 1896 by the Red Cross Land and Fruit Co.
The original 243-acre ranch was one of the state’s largest fruit-growing operations because orchards averaged just nine acres. Most of the ranch was planted in apples, though it also had a few acres of pears and peaches.
The ranch’s large barn and packing shed and the bunkhouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and other historic items have been added to the site.
One collection has household effects, farmyard equipment and horse-drawn implements and tools from the Swanson family, which moved to Colorado from Sweden in 1885 and ran a 40-acre farm south of Loma. Another, from Wallace “Boots” Corn, has more than 60 pieces of vintage road-building equipment, including horse-drawn scrapers, graders and wagons and steam-, gasoline-, and diesel-powered equipment.
For railroad fans, there is an exhibit from the Uintah Railway that ran from Mack into Dragon, Utah, hauling gilsonite, a black, lustrous asphalt, from 1904 to 1939. The reconstructed Whiskey Creek Trestle is part of a display with an engine, cars and a newly renovated caboose.
Cross Orchards Historic Site
3073 F Road
Grand Junction, CO 81504