LOVELAND - It is a place that has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people. The Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch was built by David Jessup's family 67 years ago. In the years since marriages, family reunions and memories have been built on the ranch.
Torn apart by flood waters, the ranch itself is now in need of rebuilding.
"Two of the three main buildings are pretty much destroyed," said David Jessup, co-owner of the ranch.
This is not the first time flood waters have destroyed part of the ranch. In 1976, flooding along the Big Thompson did major damage to the ranch. It took nearly a year to rebuild the ranch. Jessup says the damage from this flood is worse.
"When we first saw this you sort of go through the sequence of emotions. First is disbelief. You just can't imagine that you would have two 500 year floods in a space of 30 years. As you can see the waters and what they've done you get a hopeless feeling, like how can we even rebuild this?" Jessup said.
The answer to Jessup's question may be answered by those who had memories built on the ranch. He has been hearing from former guests of the ranch who are organizing fundraising efforts to help pay for the rebuilding.
"We've got a guest in New York City who is setting up a website to raise funds through something called social media," Jessup said.
Another former guest in California is organizing on-line fundraising through a site.
"We got our first contribution of $100 just an hour ago. I can't believe this is happening," Jessup said.
The flood waters not only destroyed buildings on the ranch but also swept away road and bridge access. There are currently 12 ranch employees and residents watching over livestock and undamaged ranch structures. Currently the only way into or out of the ranch is a half hour hike.
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