Rock Ledge Ranch has good December

       Christmas was successful at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site this year and promises to get even better next year, according to ranch manager Andy Morris. TOP: With the Rock Ledge House as a backdrop, visitors to
the Dec. 16 Holiday Evenings event at Rock Ledge Ranch
Historic Site toast marshallows or just warm themselves in
general  next to one of several bonfires that had been 
prepared on the site for that purpose. 
RIGHT: Bob Johnson of a Civil War Confederate
reenactment group removes his hat during a presentation
as part of Holiday Evenings. A contemporary message was
that soldiers then and now miss their families during wartime
Westside Pioneer photos
       Close to 1,600 people attended the annual Holiday Evenings event Nov. 15 and 16, but a big upside especially exists for the Holiday Tea and Tours - all its tours were sold out in its second year as an annual December event.
       With reservations required in advance, the tours gave people extended guided sojourns through the ranch's two historic houses - the homesteading Chambers family's 1874 Rock Ledge House and Colorado Springs founder William Palmer's 1907 Orchard House - plus the kind of “Little London” tea and goodies that visitors in Palmer's era might have enjoyed.
       “Next year we'll have more days of teas,” Morris said. “The demand is there.”
       A side benefit of the tours is greater reward for decorating the 230-acre ranch for Christmas. Until last year, the ranch would be fixed up for the season, but the only public event was the two-day Holiday Evenings, which includes tours, hayrides, bonfires and luminaria-lit walks. “Now we can use the decorations throughout the month of December,” Morris said.
       Holiday Evenings itself was expanded this year, with the addition of a Confederate Civil War encampment, where reenactors discussed what it was like being at war and away from family. Morris said this historical vignette had contemporary application, especially for families who have soldiers overseas in the Iraq War.

Westside Pioneer article