John Coburn, born in Down County, Ireland on Christmas Day 1822, felt that he had a special mission for his life. Wild dreams brought him to America where he first settled in Pennsylvania. There, he met his wife, Margaret Wilfong.
Coburn wanted to build towns, and that passion brought the couple to Colorado where they constructed a ranch. This ranch consisted of a thirty-two room hotel and stable named the Downieville Ranch. The site was popular with Chief Colorow and his Ute tribe, especially when the tribe traveled to the Western Slope.
The next owner of the ranch was Emma Bridge, who converted it to a boarding house. Then, Delores and Ollie Jackson owned the ranch in 1947 until it burned to the ground and wasn’t replaced. The area saw other entrepreneurial ventures such as Independent Oil and Gas, a small dairy queen, and a few homes. In 1955, a port of entry was constructed and is still in use today.
The ranch is gone but Downieville still serves as a great place catering to travelers. It is also a great community to raise a family.