Yesterday I had the honor to receive a check from the Give Campaign at the
Penrose House. I accepted it in honor of all those that have worked so hard to make this
Those Hard working people are responsible for the seven thousand nine
hundred and eighty dollar check which now will be placed within our general
fund. Marry took the lead on this project and a huge hand should be given to her
for all her efforts. Other members that made this happen with radio
announcements, mailings, and encouragements are Andy Morris, Elizabeth Barber, Dianne Bertinie, Bill Poley, Lee Keyser, Bri Gipson and Helen Mutterspaugh.
Living History Association of Rock Ledge Ranch
Contact Your City Council
Thursday, 21 October 2010 00:00
In effort to petition the city council to support the ranch we've put together the following business plan for 2011 and a presentation to show what we've been doing. We thought you might enjoy taking a look inside what we discuss at the board meetings and what we propose to City Council. As you can see from these documents, adults in our community have really stepped up to the plate to help Rock Ledge Ranch become successful in this past year.
By successful, we mean that over 2000 more visitors came to the ranch and we were able to offer over 14 more school programs and 9 more events than the year before, enriching the community and adding a distinct advantage to Colorado Springs that very few cities around the United States can offer.
We've recently received unpleasant news from the city council regarding the 2011 funding. Please read the letter from our president in our news page for more information then contact our city officials to let them know that you're not pleased with their decision to put Rock Ledge Ranch on the cutting block. Be respectful and tactful when you do; honey attracts flies more than vinegar:
Mayor, Lionel Rivera :
Vice Mayor, Larry Small :
District 1 Councilmember, Scott Hente :
District 2 Councilmember, Darryl Glenn :
District 3 Councilmember, Sean Paige :
District 4 Councilmember, William B. (Bernie) Herpin Jr. :
At-Large Councilmember, Tom Gallagher :
At-Large Councilmember, Randy Purvis :
At-Large Councilmember, Jan Martin :
- We have Jan's Support
An Unpleasant City Council Update
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 05:49
Dear Rock Ledge Ranch Supporters;
The October 12th issue of the local Gazette Telegraph has reported that the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site will not be funded for the 2011 City Budget. We are once again on the chopping block! This is very discouraging since the many things we have done to keep this historic part of Colorado Springs alive and well through 2010. Disheartening to say the least we have stepped-up-to-the-plate after being given a chance to stay open by Councilman Sean Paige. If you remember; Councilman Page passed a motion allowing the first quarter of 2010 to be funded. By closing the Ranch on Sundays and adding several revenue producing events the Ranch has successfully remained open. Many other cost reducing efforts have been eliminated and many volunteered hours logged to make this happen. Your personal donations to the Rock Ledge Foundation have shared in this undertaking. Last week we gave to the City of Colorado Springs Parks Recreation and Cultural Services $54,000 allowing the last quarter of operational cost for 2010. We have been able to do this only because of your continued support. The preliminary city budget for 2011 now will not be placing money into operational needs for the Ranch! The entire city held “Trust Funds” for the Ranch have been spent. We have within the Rock Ledge Foundation $61,600 going forward towards over $230,000 to stay afloat.
We need aggressive communication with not only the city council and all the love the Ranch and what it represent but also Grants and donations. Our plea again this year is "Not Now!, Not Ever!" should the Ranch be closed!
We have entered into the GIVE Campaign as indicated on this web site and donations can be deposited with them or directly to the Rock Ledge Foundation and mailed to PO box 6299, 80934. You will be receipted back and your donations are tax deductible.
President RLRHS LHA
President Rock Ledge Foundation
Labor Day Vintage Baseball Game
Monday, 06 September 2010 00:00
This Labor Day was great fun, bringing in over 500 people to enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather, watching a vintage baseball game. If you attended, be sure to vote for it on our events calendar.
Shakespeare at the Ranch
Saturday, 28 August 2010 20:54
The 2010 Shakespeare At The Ranch, provided by Theatreworks with their presentation of The Wives of Windsor, was fabulous! You can see The Indy's YouTube press video below.
Fiddles Vittles and Vino 2010
Sunday, 25 July 2010 20:54
The 2010 Fiddles, Vittles and Vino event was a fantastic success! Hundreds of families gathered around the lawn to listen to live music, great food and exquisite wines.
Children enjoyed the park grounds with the echoing sound of bluegrass bands surrounding them while most adults convened around the hundreds of different vintages of wine. All the while, a fragrant smell of brick-oven pizzas, fresh schnitzel, steamy barbeque, and other various foods quavered in the air.
As the sun began to set behind the Kissing Camels at Garden of the Gods, the lively music drew to a close making for a perfect rocky mountain summer evening.
Hot Off The Presses
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 16:00
Please download the PDF of the Living History Association newsletter "The Annunciator".
The Spring edition 2010 Annunciator has taken many hours of work. This issue completes the interview of Mr. Steve Kochis who lived in the Rock House and worked for Mr. Mr. Louis Dent when Rock Ledge Ranch was known as the Westland Ranch's 1940 - 1949. I was fortunate to spend time with Steve prior to his passing in 2009. His sharing with me some history of the Ranch was indeed a treasurer and part of the history of the Ranch that needed exploring. I have through the help of Board Member Lee Keyser the video and taped interview with Steve where it will be archived.
This issue contains information throughout related to life at the Ranch and two testimonials from former Docents and Staff members. Lead Interpreter Ms. Elizabeth Barber and Period Clothing Librarian Ms. Natalie Dale have written about how a Friendship Quilt was made by Jr. Docents. If you have ever wondered why we chose the title of our newsletter you can read about this also.
From this issue you can also discover answers to such questions as: "What is the 'Annunciator' and how was it used in 1890?", "Who is the fabulous "Cadillac Cowboy", Chuck Pyle and how is he related to John Denver, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Susy Bogguss?" and "Why was Rock Ledge Ranch once called Westland Ranch?"
Our Thank You's are extended to all for your generous donations that has helped in saving our Ranch for 2010 as well as keeping our five horses fed and happy. Many pictures of life at the Ranch are throughout this issue. Your name is in print showing you have supported and kept open this part of history of Colorado Springs.
The Annual Meeting of the LHA as part of the Presidents Report and Ranch news from Ranch Manager Andy Morris gives you an idea of how thankfully we appreciate your support.
You can read past issues by clicking on the "Newsletter" link at the top right corner of this page!
Rock Ledge Ranch on NPR
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 13:58
Last week Andy Morris, our Ranch Manager, was interview by a reporter from KRCC. Mat Mayberry and Jan Martin were also interviewed. You can now listen to it at KRCC News NPR site. Go Andy!
Rock Ledge Ranch - Our Struggle For Significance
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 16:00
Read about the history behind the ranch and the challenges we face in the years ahead from the Living History Association President's letter in PDF format. These are times to band together to save and protect the heritage we value. Learn some interesting history about the ranch. Did you know it was planned to become a graveyard? This letter also introduces new ways you can save the ranch now and preserve it for the generation that follows.
(If you don't already have the free Adobe Acrobat reader you can get it here.)
Only You Can Save The Ranch!
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 16:16
We are launching a new campaign to raise $136,000 to keep the ranch from closing its doors indefinitely. The city is tightening its budget and plans to close Rock Ledge Ranch unless we can provide enough funds on our own to keep it operational. Please read the LHA Board President's letter for more details. We also invite you to download the flyer and distribute it to your friends and neighbors.
First Nations Day
Saturday, 10 October 2009 05:57
The 1st Nations Day Celebration held October 10th was cold and very slick with ice encrusted ground. Several of the scheduled events had to be canceled because icy roads and bad weather played a big part this year into where the Dancers and events could take place. However, the Dancers performed in the barn for the visitors to enjoy and everyone had a great time. The other events took place within the Carriage House with lectures and food provided for all attending. The food was prepared by Staff and volunteers at the Staff Office. The food fare consisted of Burritos, Buffalo Chilie, Guacamole, Pinto Beans, Coffee, Tea, and a special cake. Even amidst the unseasonably freezing cold temperatures, about 125 attended.
Since many of the events were canceled, no admission charge was offered to those wishing to take part of this days event. Those attending as visitors to the ranch were also provided refreshments following the event after the Elders, Grandfathers and Dancers were honored. Everyone enjoyed the fare and the food was appreciated. Attending this years ceremony as special guest was the Medicine Bear Native American youth Treatment program from Canon City CO. Our own Elder Eugene Redhawk emceed the Dancers and explained that 1st Nations Day was the answer to the traditional Columbus Day that Americans celebrate. Eugene is a Native American from the Mohawk Tribe and is pictured as the center person in this photo from last year. Among other states persons attending was Elder Alden Naranjo from the Southern Ute's as a special guest.
Help Us Save The Ranch
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 12:41
This is a sensitive topic, not only because of the financial times we live in but also because of the recent years and continual nature of dishonesty and wasteful spending in the government. Trustworthiness is more difficult to come by than even money but there are moments where we each must step out on faith. In stepping out on faith we hope to improve our community ... or at least prevent it from sliding downhill. This November ballot will propose a mil levy increase, of which the taxes of home owners will be increased an average of $250 a year while businesses will get a tax decrease in an effort to draw more businesses to the city. These tax dollars, though they cannot be explicitly provisioned for parks and recreation or public transportation, are intended to provide for such amenities that our communities enjoy.
Simple attributes that we take for granted in our parks, such as mowed and watered grass, playground equipment repair and trail maintenance, and garbage disposal to name a few, cost money from the city. Parks will close if this funding isn't provided, and Rock Ledge Ranch is slated to be one of those parks.
How could the city run out of money? A majority of the city of Colorado Spring's budget is dependent on sales tax. As sales decline, so does the city's income.
More information on the ballot is available online at www.cityworthfightingfor.com. You can also read and distribute our printable letter regarding this issue (PDF). We urge you to read all you can about this issue from multiple sources. Also consider that this November's election is on a mail-only ballot. Make sure you vote on this ballot to make your voice heard.
Monday, 06 July 2009 20:54
The 2009 Rock Ledge Ranch Family Fourth event was an explosive success! Hundreds of families gathered around the lawn to listen to live music and an appearance by General William Palmer who read the Declaration of Independence.
Children gathered around pioneers at the log cabin to build corn husk dolls and try their skill at sawing logs. The American Indian area presented their authentic buffalo hide tepee and demonstrated various skills. The Rock Ledge House was fragrant with the smell of wood-oven baked pie while musicians played on the front porch, and the Orchard House was decked out in lively banners to celebrate the day of National Independence.
Elsewhere around the ranch were Civil War and Revolutionary War encampments that each displayed various tools and authentic clothing from their respective periods. President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg address at the front of the Galloway Homestead log cabin, accompanied by a Civil War troop.
When the rain poured down, people gathered in the barn where there were plenty of carnival games and prizes or under the front porch of the Rock Ledge House where there was live music.
In rain and shine, this event provided a fun adventure and authentic revisit of the past milestones that helped make America the great country it is today.
Friday, 03 July 2009 00:45
We are very pleased to announce that Rock Ledge Ranch has joined the social networking scene. Follow us on twitter for quick news updates and insider information. Additionally, we now moderate the Flickr Rock Ledge Ranch photography group. Members of this group will get insider information and photography tips specifically tailored to the ranch. So what are you waiting for? Follow some tweets and join our Flickr group!
Willie Houston Event
Tuesday, 16 June 2009 15:12
Last Saturday, approximately 300 people showed up for the thunderous appearance of Willie Houston and His Junkyard Dogs, the legendary blues artist and his companions. Not much longer after playing "Here Comes the Rain" did nature respond with a torrent of showers that sadly washed the concert out half-way through.
We can't control the weather and have to book these events months in advance. C'est la vie. We ring out a hearty thanks for those who attended and especially for Willie Houston and His Junkyard Dogs. May their future gigs be dry.
2009 Sheep Shearing / Opening Day
Saturday, 06 June 2009 23:38
The 2009 Rock Ledge Ranch opening day sheep shearing event was a fantastic success.
Nearly 690 visitors came for an affordable, educational and entertaining day under the beautiful late-spring Colorado sky at the ranch.
They saw and experienced first-hand how sheep herding dogs know what to do, the patience and strength of a rancher's hand as he sheers the wool, and the artisan skill of textile tradesmen as they spun wool into yarn and made cloth.
They also wandered into the various full-time attractions that brought them back to the various ages when Native American Indians lived in this area, when pioneers homesteaded in the wilderness, at the dawn of the Victorian age into the elegance of the Edwardian period, and at the workshop of a seasoned blacksmith as he demonstrated his firey technique.
Come join us on our next event and live a part of history!
Two New English Shire Horses Arrive
Sunday, 05 April 2009 00:00
Two new beautiful young English Shire Horses arrive at the ranch. Winston and Victoria are half siblings (sharing the same mare) and are being trained to work the ranch. Come and see the two new exciting editions at Rock Ledge Ranch!
Sprinkler Wagon Referbished
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 03:00
Original wood water wagon used to keep the dust down on the streets of early Colorado Springs. Recently renovated in South Dakota. Come see the wagon at the Ranch in the Blacksmith shop.
Saturday, 07 July 2007 02:54
Authentic working adobe brick oven (horn) used for cooking breads and bakery goods. Stationed outside the homestead log cabin.
Orchard House Renovations
Saturday, 07 June 2008 05:00
Last year the Orchard House celebrated its 100th anniversary. Take a tour with a trained docent to see the historic renovations it underwent to commensurate the event.