“It’s now more than a farm….

Bill Jackson of the Greeley Tribune wrote this phrase in his article entitled, " History Finds a Home; Weld Family Works Diligently to Earn Designation for Farm". His reporting gives a brief history of the people of the Von Trotha-Firestien Farm at Bracewell and the farm's long association with the development of irrigated farming, sugar beet cultivation and livestock feeding in the settlement of Bracewell, northwest of Greeley, Colorado.

Von Trotha-Firestien Farm at Bracewell was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior on May 12, 2009 (Colorado Historical Society Press Release).

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

Aerial view of Von Trotha-Firestien Farm, circa 1980s

Aerial view of Von Trotha-Firestien Farm, circa 1980s

Listing on the National Register also results in automatic listing on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. In addition to the National and State Register designations, Von Trotha-Firestien Farm at Bracewell is also associated with the Historic Farms and Ranches of Weld County.

Bodo "Bode" Leopold Von Trotha and his brother, Claus "Claude" Wolfgang Von Trotha purchased the property located northwest of Greeley, Colorado in the settlement of Bracewell in 1916. The Von Trotha Brothers were well known in the area for their contributions to irrigated farming and livestock feeding. By 1917, Peter and Sophia Firestien and their six children, were tenant farmers on the property for the Von Trotha Brothers. Conrad Firestien and his wife, Mabel, took over farming operations in the 1920's. Conrad's son, Wilbert "Chuck" Firestien farmed the property with his father and later his brother and eventually retired in the early 1990's. Chuck's brother, Gerald Firestien, and Gerald's son, Mark, still farm the property today.

There is a great deal of history to be shared about the early owners of the property; owners who include Sharon Atkinson and Christopher and Mary Bracewell. In addition, there is information to be shared about the Bracewell area, the buildings and structures on the property and the farm itself with its close proximity to the Cache La Poudre River.

Thank you for visiting our website! We have only just begun to share the history of Von Trotha-Firestien Farm at Bracewell with you. Please check back soon and often as we build this website and continue to add both history and current information on the farm.

Please feel free to contact us with comments, suggestions and even stories you may have about the farm, the Von Trotha Brothers, the Firestien family or the Bracewell area at Info@BracewellFarm.com.