About 2,200 at Rock Ledge’s Family 4th

       A possible record crowd flocked to Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site for its annual “Family Fourth” event July 4.

Mike Houston, playing Abraham Lincoln for the first time, reads the Civil War president's famous Gettysburg Address during a ceremony at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site's annual Family Fourth July 4. He is flanked by reenactors playing Union soldiers.
Westside Pioneer photo

       With the parking lot off Gateway Road nearly full at times, ranch manager Andy Morris estimated more than 2,200 people. This was based on 2,101 who paid or are members of the ranch's Living History Association (LHA), plus “dozens and dozens” of others, he said, who may have strolled in through other accesses to the unfenced facility.
       The patriotic event featured a new President Abraham Lincoln this year, played by first-time historic reenactor Mike Houston. After reading the Gettysburg Address during a ceremony that included First President George Washington and Colorado Springs founder/Civil War veteran William Palmer, he walked around the ranch with an entourage of Civil War soldier-reenactors, meeting people and having his picture taken with children. Afterward, “he was tired and very happy,” Morris said. “It was interesting, that the kids were very respectful to him. They weren't looking at him as an enactor but as Lincoln. I think Mike took the role very seriously, and he did a great job.”
       The seven-hour event also included presentations or readings by reenactors playing Martha Henry (Patrick Henry's daughter), Katharine Lee Bates (writer of “America the Beautiful”), poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and inventor Nikola Tesla.
       The Family Fourth commemorates July 4, 1976, when the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, which states the reasons and principles for the American Revolu-tionary War against England.
       The event was part of the summer schedule at Rock Ledge, which will continue Wednesday to Saturday until mid-August.

Westside Pioneer article