Thanks to the unrelenting efforts of Jerry Jones, Dolores Ebner, Donald Ebner and Martin Burdick, Ken-Caryl residents are able to enjoy a piece of Colorado Gold Rush history right in our own neighborhood. They have been honored for their efforts by being elected as members of the Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society Hall of Fame. The nomination was made by the Historical Society and approved by the Ken-Caryl Ranch Master Association Board of Directors.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Jones joined the KCR Historical Society in 2001 and became its chair in 2004 during a key moment in its history. It was during that year that the Historical Society received major funding from the State Historical Fund to proceed with the stabilization of the Bradford-Perley House. The Bradford-Perley House was a stopping place for wagons on the Bradford Wagon Road, carrying prospectors and settlers seeking their fortune during the Colorado Gold Rush in the 1860s. Jones helped to oversee the preservation work on the House, including meeting with project architects and engineers and consulting with personnel from the State Historical Fund. Grants from this fund require a percentage match and Jerry coordinated fund-raising activities for this purpose, including wine tasting events, silent auctions, bike and running races, and a Mystery Walk experience. The site had been named one of Colorado’s most endangered places in 2002 by Colorado Preservation, Inc., and after the stabilization was completed it was declared “saved” in 2006 by the same organization. The project earned the Stephen H. Hart Award for excellence in preservation from the Colorado Historical Society in 2004.
During his final year as chair in 2009, the committee became aware of the need to devote time and effort to preserve the Bradford Apple Orchard, which was planted by Robert Boyles Bradford in the 1860s. The peach trees that Bradford had planted were long gone, and the apple trees needed care. Jerry took on the task of preserving the historic orchard. He contacted an arborist, who worked with Jerry to obtain cuttings from the historic trees. These cuttings were then grafted onto root stock, creating saplings that preserved the genetics of the original trees. These young trees were planted in the Bradford Orchard in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Jerry arranged for the care of the new trees in the orchard, including watering, fertilizing, weeding, insect control, and pruning. Thus, thanks to Jerry’s efforts the historic Bradford Orchard will continue to be a legacy of the Bradford era on the Ranch.
Jerry Jones died in June of 2020 and his remains are buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
Dolores worked for decades to preserve and promote the history of Ken-Caryl Ranch. She was a key member of the KCR Historical Committee in the 1990s that worked tirelessly to save the Bradford-Perley House, and Committee chair for seven years. Her work included nominating the Bradford-Perley House as one of Colorado’s most endangered places, writing grant proposals to secure necessary funding for the preservation work to qualify for a State Historical Fund grant, meeting with the architects and engineers who were performing the preservation activities, and giving numerous presentations throughout the area to promote the preservation of the building and the history of Ken-Caryl Ranch.
She published regular “Did You Know” columns about Ranch history in Life at Ken-Caryl for over a decade. She researched the lives of Robert Boyles Bradford and John C. Shaffer and wrote and published booklets describing her findings. She donated the proceeds from the sale of the booklets to the Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society. She successfully nominated Robert B. Bradford to the Jefferson County Hall of Fame.
She was elected to the Jefferson County Hall of Fame, and the Columbine chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution presented her with the prestigious NSDAR Historic Preservation Medal.
Don worked for over a decade to help preserve and promote the history of Ken-Caryl Ranch. He was involved with the KCR Historical Committee in the 1990s that worked to preserve the Bradford-Perley House. Included in these efforts were arranging with Dr. Jon Kent of Metropolitan State University to perform archaeological excavations on the house pro bono, arranging for Dr. Larry Conyers of Denver University to complete an assessment of the outbuildings that existed near the house, meeting with representatives of the State Historical Fund to provide funding for the preservation work, working with the architects and engineers who performed the preservation activities, and giving numerous presentations in the area to promote the preservation work. He performed research on the Bradford apple orchard, contacting experts, leading to the current efforts to save and perpetuate the trees.
He provided photographic documentation of historic sites on the Ranch. He worked with the Colorado Archaeological Society to support the archaeological district designation for the ranch, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. He researched ways to preserve the Ogam site.
He was elected to the Jefferson County Hall of Fame for his historic preservation activities.
Martin worked for more than a decade to preserve and promote the history of Ken-Caryl Ranch. He was a major force in reviving the KCR Historical Committee in the 1990s and focusing its efforts to preserve the Bradford-Perley House. He was the first chairman of the reorganized committee as it undertook this important project. He researched the requirements for restoration and preservation, attended preservation classes, arranged for a stabilization report on the House, helped with fund-raising activities, and completed the nomination for the House to be named to the State Register of Historic Properties. He arranged with Dr. John Gormley and his students of the Colorado School of Mines to complete a water drainage mitigation report of the Bradford-Perley property.
He also helped with the preparation of “Hoofprints in Time”, a history of Ken-Caryl Ranch.
He was presented with the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Historic Preservation Recognition Award.