by Mary Menz
Nestled in the lush valley between Ridgway and Ouray is the Potter Ranch, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Christine Potter Witherspoon, granddaughter of John and Jennie Potter, who purchased the original property in 1937, commemorated the event with an elaborate and memory-filled exhibit depicting the ranch’s history at the Ouray County Fair last weekend.
“I just love this ranch,” said Witherspoon. “It’s been my life and the life of my family, including my siblings and children.” All told, the ranch has supported four generations of Potters since 1937, when her grandparents leased the property to others from their home ranch in Gunnison.
“But when my father John turned 15, they gave him this ranch and the brand 43 bar, which represents the year he took ownership of it,” explained Witherspoon.
Shortly thereafter, John Potter...