Logan County Courthouse Art Gallery

cattleman northeast colorado

“Cattleman: Northeast Colorado”

"This painting characterizes the early cattle country of northeast Colorado. The beauty of an August evening is created here by revealing the complex skies and a vast pasture land panorama. The majestic Pawnee Buttes are revealed like giant ships sailing across the waves of cool violet canyons in the background. The setting sun softly warns the cattlemen of the end of another northeast Colorado day. However, experience has taught them that these days are drawing to a close and the severe bite of the winter wind is just around the corner." --Artist Eugene Carara


Inside the historic Logan County Courthouse in downtown Sterling is the Eugene Carara art collection. These oil paintings were purchased by private citizens and then donated to Logan County to keep the collection together. The paintings are symbolic of historically important events or locations to the people of northeastern Colorado.


Cattlemen: Northeast Colorado     1860—1984

The cattlemen found an ideal range in northeast Colorado, “the greatest pasture ever known.” In summer, the grass sometimes grew belly high on the cows. In winter, it cured like hay, and the herds could continue to graze on it.

John Wesley Iliff, the famous Cattle King of Colorado, controlled 150 by 100 miles of prairie land. His herd numbered in the tens of thousands, and he figured his expenses on the prairie at only 6 to 75 cents per head. But when homesteaders put up fences, his cattle could no longer drift south ahead of the blizzards. They piled on the fences and died by the thousands.

Iliff was succeeded by smaller ranch outfits which raised feed for their cattle and gave them winter protection. But during the past century they, too, have suffered the assaults of nature, and they did not long enjoy the free range that made Iliff rich. They have been battered by numerous economic disasters, as well, and today the ranks of those early ranchers are thinning.

Logan County historian Nell Brown Propst

Logan County Courthouse Art Gallery

beware the earthman

“Beware the Earthman”

This painting portrays the early farmers’ futile attempts to raise a crop against all the odds that were against him along the South Platte River. But, beyond that, it also exposes the early confrontation of the Cheyenne Warrior with the peaceful farmer. The warriors were informed many years earlier that they need not fear the mountain-man, the cattleman, or even the soldier. That the man who would eventually take their beloved land from them would be the Earthman—the farmer.


Inside the historic Logan County Courthouse in downtown Sterling is the Eugene Carara art. These oil paintings were purchased by private citizens and then donated to Logan County to keep the collection together. The paintings are symbolic of historically important events or locations to the people of northeastern Colorado.


Beware the Earthman

The Indian scorned the Earthman (or farmer) because he represented the life of drudgery from which the red man had escaped when he moved onto the “Great Buffalo Pasture” of what was to be eastern Colorado and its endless grasslands.

But he also feared him. The farmer with his devotion to land represented the gravest threat to the red man.

Eventually, differences between the two forces would boil down to a clash over territory.

Long ago, Sweet Medicine, the Cheyenne Indians’ Messiah, had warned: “Some day the Earthmen will come. Do not follow anything they do.”

During the Indians’ final days on the pasture, that warning must have rung through their heads with increasing bitterness.

Sterling Fun Facts

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Did you know?

1.  Sterling was named one of the “25 Best Pheasant Hunting Towns in America” by Pheasants Forever magazine.

2.  There are 60 acres of parks in the city with walking and biking paths and trails.

3.  Sterling is called the “City of Living Trees” for its many tree sculptures by artist, Bradford Rhea.

4.  Logan County celebrates one of the most heavily traveled routes across the high plains in the 1800s at the Overland Trail Museum which records the greatest migration of people our country has ever experienced!

5.  There are 45 holes of golf in the Sterling area, plus one disc golf course.

6.  Sterling is the gateway to the Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic & Historic Byway at the east edge of the Pawnee National Grasslands.

7.  The reservoir at North Sterling State Park has 3,000 acres of surface area for an array of boating and fishing activities and 141 campsites!

8.  The company Wisdom Rides in nearby Merino is one of the nation’s leading makers of carnival rides.

9.  There are 20 artistic murals scattered around Sterling.

10. Logan County’s Shooting Sports Complex is one of the few facilities to have a 1,000-yard range.

We look forward to welcoming you to Sterling! Learn more about Sterling, Logan County and the northeast corner of Colorado here >>>  Venture to Northeast Colorado

Support Local!

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Since the beginning, Sterling has been the economic hub of northeast Colorado offering residents and visitors a charming yet unique shopping experience. Now more than ever, these same local businesses could use your help.

Here are a few different ways you can #supportlocal today:

> Get takeout/delivery from your favorite restaurant

> Inquire about Gift Cards

> Leave a supportive note on their social media pages

> Write them a review from your last great experiences

Visit this link to learn more about who is currently open.

We'll Be Here Waiting For You

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Dear visitors,

We miss your weekends at North Sterling State Park, your big smiles at the quaint Simkins Parlour, your friendly cheers at Parts & Labor Brewing Company, your relaxed attitude at the Overland Trail Recreation Area, your full tummies at Hootenanies. And we miss YOU!

We wish you were here, but when the time is right and we can see you again, know that we'll be here waiting for you.


Sterling and Logan County


(Click here for important information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.)


Mark Your Calendar - Logan County Fair!

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One of the biggest events of the year in Sterling is the Logan County Fair & Rodeo, held the first full week of August, this year being July 30-August 9. What a celebration it will be! Rodeos, agriculture and livestock exhibits, carnival, demolition derby, parade, country music concert and much, much more.

Tonight, we will find out who will be the featured entertainment for the concert. Join us in a virtual reveal on the Logan County Fair & Rodeo Facebook page  at 5:30 p.m, tonight, Friday, March 20. Tickets for the concert as well as all grandstand events will go on sale at that time. Click here to purchase tickets or by visiting www.lcfair.org.

Construction Exhibit on display - See it now!

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Visit Sterling - the economic hub of northeast Colorado and lovely capital city of Logan County – to view the Construction Exhibit currently on display. This colorful public installation will be ongoing for a while, but everything else is business as usual!

  • Remember to dial down your speedometer and enjoy the slower pace.
  • Watch for workers, new signage, and different lanes and directions and striping and turn arrows.
  • Explore new parking spots as you continue to visit your favorite shops and eateries.
  • Wave at fellow drivers with all five fingers and maybe even flash a smile.
  • Go ahead and skip the cone zone if you want, while checking out the Overland Trail Museum or North Sterling State Park or fitting in a round of disc golf.
  • Find more things to see and do when you’re traveling through.


(Click here for details for details on the 2-way conversion work in Sterling.)

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