Westsiders celebrate 4th... and 5th
Possible record crowd enjoys patriotic offerings at annual Rock Ledge event

Abraham Lincoln (portrayed by Merell Folsom) delivers the Gettysburg Address at Rock Ledge Ranch’s Galloway Cabin 
during its “Family Fourth.”
Westside Pioneer photo        Although final numbers are not yet in, Rock Ledge Ranch may have set a record for itself at this year's Family Fourth.
       "Last year we had about 2,000 people, and this year we'd counted 1,800 by 1 p.m.," said ranch manager Andy Morris. "So I'm sure we had at least 2,000 [before the 5 p.m. closing] and might have been knocking on 3,000."
       Activities at the annual all-day event on Independence Day included talks by historic reenactors (playing the likes of Abe Lincoln, Katharine Lee Bates and William Palmer), a Revolutionary War encampment (new this year), blacksmith demonstrations, historic house tours by guides in period attire, children's games and a variety of live, old-time music.
       The multi-tent encampment combined uniformed volunteers from the 2nd Connecticut Regiment of Militia and the Northern Colorado Fife and Drum Corps. Visitors could learn about 18th-century firearms, cannons and grenades, how bullets were made and other aspects of life in those times.
       Also in uniform, elsewhere on the ranch, were volunteer elements of the Civil War-era 2nd Colorado A and B companies and the 5th Texas Company C. Their highlight role was to line up beside "Lincoln" (Merell Folsom) in reading the Gettysburg Address.
       One phenomenon, noticed by Morris (and others), occurred during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner by the Fountain Creek Brass Band. The music was audible across much of the 230-acre ranch. Nearly everyone within earshot stopped what they were doing, took off their hats and stood silent until the song ended.
       "Every report I heard was that people got caught up in the patriotic spirit of the Family Fourth," Morris said.

Westside Pioneer article

Revolutionary War-era rifles (foreground) and cannons
(rear) were on display at Rock Ledge as part of an encampment for the event.
Westside Pioneer photo Tom and Carol Beedle, who were celebrating their 45th
wedding anniversary that day, play old-time music on the front porch of the Rock Ledge House during the Family Fourth at Rock Ledge Ranch. 
Westside Pioneer photo