Rock Ledge starts ‘Historic House Tours’

       A new, “intimate” chance to tour the two historic dwellings at Rock Ledge Ranch is being offered several afternoons this month.
       The Historic House Tours will be in addition to the ranch's annual Holiday Evenings Dec. 16 and 17, which feature shorter tours, as well as old-time music, hay rides, caroling, St. Nicholas, lantern-lit walks and other activities.
       “Usually in the past, we'd spend a week putting up decorations for the Holiday Evenings, and they'd only be up for two nights,” explained Cheryl Catalano, lead interpreter for the city-owned historic site. “Last year someone suggested we do tours in the afternoons when other people might want to come out here.”
       The scheduled dates for the Historic House Tours are Dec. 9, 10, 14, 20 and 21 (although the 10th and 14th are now full). The times each day are 1:30 and 4 p.m. This will allow approximately an hour and a half for visits to both the Orchard House and the Rock Ledge House.
       Reservations are required. Groups are limited to 12 people per tour. The cost is $7.50 a person. Tea and scones will be served.
       “The important thing about this is that, because it's limited, people will get a very intimate introduction to the houses,” Catalano said. “They can see everything. This is an up close and personal look at Victorian and Edwardian traditions.”
       Another feature of the tour will be a docent dressed as a member of the Chambers family, which farmed the property and built the Rock Ledge house in the 1880s. All the volunteers assisting on the tour will be clad in period apparel, Catalano said.
       The British repast of tea and scones is a connection with the Orchard House, built by Colorado Springs founder William Palmer for a family member. Early Colorado Springs was known as “Little London” because of its ways.

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