Ken-Caryl Ranch celebrates 100th birthday

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By Ramsey Scott

Ken-Caryl Ranch celebrated its 100th birthday with a little old-time flair.

The Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society hosted a birthday party Aug. 9 to celebrate the community’s founding, when John Charles Shaffer bought the original 2,660 acres of land on Oct. 17, 1914. Shaffer named the ranch after his two sons, Kent and Carroll.

The event was a throwback to the community’s founding, with a barbershop quartet, banjos and a vintage fashion show featuring clothes from the turn of the 20th century.

Jeff Allison, president of the historical society, said it wasn’t a surprise that Shaffer chose the area as his summer home when he moved to Denver after buying both the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Times in 1913.

“What else can I say?” Allison said as he pointed to the panoramic view from the backyard of the Manor House, which was built by Shaffer. “This is natural beauty. I don’t know that words can capture that.”

Allison moved here 28 years ago, and his first experience driving between the two Hogback ridges the community is nestled between sold him.

“I got here and said to myself: I’m living here,” Allison said. “I tell people the only way I’m leaving this place is in a pine box.”

Allison said that while the ranch dates back 100 years, there is evidence that prehistoric people once called the valley home.

The current community was developed after the Johns-Manville Corp. bought the property in 1971 to develop a planned community and build a headquarters. Todd McCollough, who lives here and also works for Johns-Manville, said his family moved to the valley seven years ago for the same reason many of his neighbors chose their homes.

“When you first drive into the valley, it’s just brilliant,” McCollough said. “This is just a great place to raise a family.”

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine. Check www.columbinecourier.com for updates.