Shep Husted married Clara Crawford on June 29, 1892 in Denver, CO and lived in Denver that first summer. In 1893, the couple homesteaded on the rim of Devil's Gulch. When they moved out from Estes Park to the homestead they brought with them everything that would be needed to live and build, nails, tools to make nails, forges, etc. The original intent was to farm. They built their first cabin on the property and called the cabin "Homestead". Their first child, born in 1893 did not survive to live.
"Homestead" cabin. "H-Bar-G Ranch Photograph, H-Bar-G.com"
Shep and Clara eventually had four children who grew to adulthood. The four are Ethel, Kenneth, Melissa and Fanny, this per census records and a family history prepared by Fanny in 1988.
Leslie O. Husted, one of Shep's brothers, homesteaded 160 acres next to Shep's land. Leslie obtained a deed to the land in 1903 and sold the land to Shep's wife Clara in 1906. Forest Husted, another of Shep's brothers, homestead160 acres near Shep's land and received the deed on the land in 1906. He too passed his property to Clara Husted in 1906. During 1906 and 1907 Shep purchased additional land nearby and thereby accumulated 800 acres over and beyond the land that was associated with the H-Bar-G Ranch. That 800 acres appears to constitute that area now called Husted Heights and the current Husted Ranch.
The original property had no running water, even as late as 1933 when the land was purchased by Julian Livingston, but land was well supplied with springs. In 1933 there was no electricity on the property. The property at that time had an acetylene plant which piped gas around the property. This would have been well after Shep sold the hotel in 1907. It seems that Shep was interested in going back into the hotel business along with the Livingston family. The name of H-Bar-G Ranch was decided upon, but at the last minute, Shep decided that given his original venture into the business, that he would pass on the plan to reenter the hotel business. The name stuck. "H" is for Husted and "G" is for Gates, the name of Helen Gates, the sister of Julian Livingston, the purchaser of the property in 1933. Helen managed the hotel and property until 1959.
In 1896, before the birth of their second child, Shep built a second cabin that was called "Shep".
The cabin "Shep". "H-Bar-G Ranch Photograph, H-Bar-G.com"
By living on the property for six months and one day a year, for five years, the property was formally homesteaded via a patent.
Another cabin arrived on the property and called "Squeaky Bob", named after Bob Wheeler. The cabin was moved three times before finally settling at the Husted property in 1923 where it stood in 1977. It was originally on the Griff Evans, then on another homestead, and then moved to Devil's Gulch. This cabin may have been built by John T. Cleave, Sheps uncle, who taught Shep carpentry and who was a builder of the Dunraven cottage which still stands off Fish Creek Road.
When Shep sold the homestead property with the original cabins and the Rustic Hotel (H-Bar-G Ranch), he used the land to the south of the homestead property on which he built another home. That home and property was called the Husted Ranch. The home was struck by lightning about 1966 and burned.
Other cabins were built on the homestead property about 1900, one prior to 1912 and one after 1912, which would be after the hotel was sold by Shep in 1907. One of the cabins was called "Lester".
The original access to the land was from Loveland, up the road via Glen Haven. Original access was by foot, horseback or wagon. This was prior to the Stanley Steamer and its use at the park. That road is now, at best, a jeep trail and the current Loveland access to the park is via the Thompson Canyon Road, built in 1904.