Orchard House to celebrate 100th anniversary at Rock Ledge July 21
A day-long celebration is planned to honor the 100th anniversary of the Orchard House at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site Saturday, July 21.
Built by Colorado Springs founder William Palmer, the three-story Edwardian-style house was designed by Thomas McLaren, a native of Scotland and a renowned architect of his day.
Starting at 10 a.m., activities will include Scottish bagpipers, a McLaren reenactor, a participatory art project, anniversary cake, a historical dramatization and a croquet tournament. After dark and continuing to 11 p.m., a large inflatable screen outside the Orchard House will show a silent movie with live piano accompaniment, followed by a full-length family movie.
Regular admission prices ($6 for adults, with discounts for seniors, teens and youths) will be charged until 3:30 p.m.
The house, which included servants' quarters and modern (for its time) amenities, “embodies the changing technology, economy and sophistication in the Pikes Peak region at the turn of the 20th century, and the breadth of visionary projects by General Palmer,” reads a city press release on the celebration.
Through grants and donations, the structure has received funding this year for a $130,000 restoration project on the house's second and third floors, which will allow them to be opened up for public tours. However, because the work will not get started until the week of July 14, according to Ranch Manager Andy Morris, the restoration will not be done - as once hoped - in time for the anniversary event.
Here is a full schedule:
All day: Living history demonstrations throughout the site.
11:30 a.m., Scottish bagpipers perform in the Carriage House and continue to the nearby Orchard House.
Noon, 100th anniversary commemoration on Orchard House's West Lawn, featuring reenactor Morey Bean as McLaren.
Noon-4 p.m., Legacy Tree art project, led by Steve Wood's non-profit Concrete Couch group, during which people can create collaged leaves for a collaboratively created tree this summer at events for the city's Starsmore, Palmer Park, Rock Ledge and Monument Valley Park properties.
1 p.m., anniversary cake in the Carriage House.
2 p.m., dramatization by the Pikes Peak Legends & Legacy Players in the pergola on the Orchard House East Lawn.
3:30 p.m., croquet tournament on the West Lawn.
8:30 p.m., silent movie, “Big Business,” on the West Lawn.
9 p.m., full-length movie, “Flicka,” on the West Lawn.
Rock Ledge Ranch is located off Gateway Road west of 30th St. For more information, call 578-6777.
Westside Pioneer/press release