ALAMOSA --- The sale of the leading family member’s original ranch one mile north of Alamosa’s city limits continues nearly 10 years after his death at 89. Lloyd Eldon Jones’ trusteeship, which owns the 150-acre property of a founding family of Alamosa, is maintained by his son Butch Jones and his wife Judy.
The property includes homes, a bunkhouse, a well cared for large old barn, plus important water rights.
Splashland, a hot springs sourced pool open for public patronage during the summer, was sold away from ranch property years ago. It is not part of the sale. The Jones family ran Splashland after digging the pool in 1955. A search for oil underground the previous year instead found hot water sprouting from deep underground. An adequate amount of oil for economic profit was not there.
The realty firm administering the sale is Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, controlled primarily by the interests of Omaha multibillionaire Warren Buffet. Montrose Realty of Montrose, Colorado, and a Santa Fe, New Mexico realty firm also have a part in the sale effort.
Butch Jones’ daughter, Jennifer Johnson, 41, who resides in Grand Junction, is the real estate agent in charge.
The history of the property is of great interest. Once as large as 1,200 acres, the state-recognized “Centennial Farm” has been in the Jones family hands for more than 100 years. During the mid-1920’s to the late 1940’s, Lloyd E. Jones, his extended family and hired help raised large numbers of dairy cows and ran “Sanitary Dairy” supplying milk and other dairy products to Alamosa and the San Luis Valley.
Help to other farms and ranches through Jones Construction company, performing such tasks as leveling thousands of acres of soil, and many other functions, eventually became the Jones’ family’s main business and the dairy business was sold. After that time, the size of the ranch was reduced close to the present size.
Butch Jones, 72, related that he is hoping to have a more retirement-like lifestyle, as maintaining the ranch is for practical purposes a full time job for him and his wife.
The asking price for the ranch in the past was $3 million or more, according to a prominent Valley landowner. The present asking price is $2.8 million, according to realtor Jennifer Johnson. During a July 2nd interview and ranch tour, her father said the most recent offer, he grimaced a bit to call “serious”, was $1.8 million.
The sale of the land at or near the present asking price may rest on the passing of federal legislation making hemp no longer a federal Schedule I substance, which on a national level makes raising it as a crop hard to finance or sell outside Colorado.
Presently Senator Michael Bennett is in the process of presenting such a law for Congress to pass. Both Johnson and her father have expressed that the ranch would be “an excellent place to raise hemp,” and so have others in the SLV agricultural community.
More of the Jones family history will soon be available at the Adams State library thanks to a generous donation of published family history by Lloyd’s widow Margaret.
Caption: The Jones property, currently for sale, is one of Colorado’s Centennial Farms./Photo by Stan Moyer