The Tracy Homestead ruins stand as the last remnant of the last ranch and homestead inside the City of Rocks National Reserve. In the 1830s and 40s, emigrants flooded the Oregon and California Trails, moving west to new lands with the thought of new opportunity in their minds. With early homesteading in the Willamette Valley in the Oregon Territory and the gold rush of the last 1840s in California, trails developed throughout the west, with cutoffs, intersections and amenities developing in a variety of places. The California Trail eventually wandered through the area of the City of Rocks, where early travelers marveled at the large and many mounds of stone. Names of these pioneers can still be seen painted in axel grease on several rocks inside the Reserve today. The nearby Salt Lake cutoff to the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City also helped increase the population of settlers moving through the area. The City was about halfway along the route to California. After the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, the route through the area served mostly stage coaches and wagon supply trains moving to spur routes from the railroad. In the 1870s, a number of Mormon folk settled in the area and founded the town of Almo in 1881. Several of these families settled on land within the City of Rocks area. The Tracy family owned this ranch and its ruins remind visitors of the pioneer and settler past of the area.
Sources: Wikipedia, City of Rocks climbing guide book by Dave Bingham