Many years ago the Brown family owned a couple thousand acres of land in this area for raising cattle. The ranch was called Rafter-=J= Open “A” Summer Ranch. That's where the brand came from. The 'rafter' J (for Jake) over the 'open' A (for Alice). The ranch was called Rafter-=J= Open “A” Summer Ranch. As the family’s needs changed, they began to sell off some of the acreage. That is how adjacent subdivisions such as Tomahawk, La Plata Vista, etc. came to be. The last portion of the family ranch of about 660 acres was acquired by Mel Reddy, who, first with a partner then with son Mark, developed our present day Rafter J subdivision. The development started in the early 1970’s and was basically finished in the late 1990’s.
There are approximately 175 lots in the subdivision, including the last segment called King Mountain. The Reddys built the roads to county specifications though they are still considered private. There were three wells dug on the property that served the simple water system which also included a water storage tower. As the number of residents grew, the water capacity proved to be inadequate and the whole system was transferred to Lake Durango Water Company owned by Bob Johnson. In July 2007, Bob Johnson sold the water company and it is now operated by Lake Durango Water Authority.
Rafter J has a minimum lot size of three acres or more. Presently about 145 homes exist with a small number of these occupied only as secondary homes. Mailboxes are at the Meadow Road entrances of the subdivision along with the newspaper boxes. The school bus also stops at these corners.
The subdivision has a legally constituted homeowners association, which is a not for profit, tax exempt organization. We have articles of incorporation, bylaws, covenants and an elected board of directors. The board develops an annual budget, schedules annual meetings, elections and monthly business meetings. Members are always welcome and participation encouraged.
Since the primary effort of the board relates to roads and water, all present and new members are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the issues. It is expected that, both at present and in the future, road and water service-related considerations must be dealt with by the membership.