The Bradford Perley House was owned by Major Robert Boyles Bradford from 1859 until his death in 1876. Civil War recruiting was done at Bradford by Col. John Chivington in 1863. After a succession of owners, the house was sold to James Adams Perley in 1895. He and his wife Ida Tuttle raised their children and many of their grandchildren were raised there also while running a dairy farm until 1926. The property was then sold to John C. Shaffer for $1000.
John C. Shaffer and his wife Virginia Conser named the ranch for their two sons Kent & Carroll. Over the years and through many owners, the name has remained the same: Ken-Caryl Ranch. They built the present day Manor House as their home, completed in 1914. Mr. Shaffer, owner of the Rocky Mountain News, entertained such notables as Pres. Wm. Howard Taft, Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, Will Rogers and others.
In 1967, a devastating fire destroyed the interior of the Bradford Perley House. The Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society obtained State Historic designation for the site in 1997 and received the designation “One of the Most Endangered Sites in Colorado” in 2002 from Colorado Preservation, Inc. In 2006, the designation was changed to “Saved”, thanks to the preservation of the site. The architects were Hoehn Architects and Stone Mason, Building Restoration Specialties. Engineers were Atkinson Noland & Co. Grants were from: Colorado Historical Fund, Ken-Caryl Ranch Master Association, Ken-Caryl Ranch Foundation, The Holmes Foundation, The Gates Foundation and other individual donations.
For further historical information two booklets are available for $5 each at the front desk of the Ranch House: The Bradford Years 1859 – 1876 and John C. Shaffer and the Manor House. Sale of these booklets supports the Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society.