Historical Videos

The Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society has created a series of short videos describing various historical places and events on Ken-Caryl Ranch. As more videos are produced, they will be added below. Thanks to the Historical Society, there are several oral histories pertaining to Ken-Caryl Ranch archived on the Jeffco Library website.

The McDannald Era

Ever wonder why a wealthy Texas oilman who was the owner of the Hartsel Ranch, the largest in Colorado, was interested in Ken-Caryl Ranch? Who was this guy? The Ken-Caryl Historical Society has released a new video on the adventurous life of Arthur “Cap” McDannald, owner from 1949 until his death in 1963. His family continued ownership until 1971. The video includes the memories of his grandchildren who in the 1950s would travel from Houston to spend their entire summers at the ranch.

Bradford-Perley Memorial Bench

There is a new Bradford-Perley Memorial Bench in the Apple Orchard behind the Bradford-Perley House off Killdeer Lane.

Historic Sites Near Manor House Trail

Ever wonder why a corral was built at the top of the Manor House Trail? You can find out by viewing the Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society’s latest video telling about more historical sites along the many Ken-Caryl trails. This new video, the third in the trails series, highlights those located along the Manor House Trail and the North Hogback Trail. They include the buildings near the Manor House as well as places and objects at the trail’s summit. Along the North Hogback Trail, you will find information about an old kiln and cattle feeder.

Joseph Minissale

In 1944 real estate tycoon Joseph Minissale purchased Ken-Caryl Ranch to give his children the experience of living on an American ranch. Minissale was a self-made man, who was born in Sicily and was a quarry laborer before immigrating to Philadelphia. During Minissale’s ownership, turkeys joined the cattle as livestock. Minissale lived in a mansion in Denver and never lived on the Ranch itself.

Historic Sites Near Bradford-Perley House

Do you ever wonder what the story is behind the structures and rocks found near the Bradford-Perley House in the North Ranch? This 10-minute video will help answer your questions and locates various places you didn’t know were there.

Pump House Renovation

Resident Susan Schell, with cooperation from the Historical Society, created this video about the historic Pump House located in the Valley.

Historic Sites Near North Massey Draw

Walking along the many Ken-Caryl Ranch trails, residents will encounter numerous sites of historical interest. The Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society put together this video describing some of these sites that are located along the drainage ravine known as North Massey Draw. This is the first of four planned videos about historical sites on the trails.

Utes and Colorow

“The Utes and Colorow” is the topic of the most recent video production of the Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society. It describes the life and culture of the Ute tribe in Colorado and, specifically, the presence and influence of the Ute chief, Colorow, who inhabited the Ken-Caryl Ranch region. The 9-minute video includes many vintage photographs of the Utes from the Denver Public Library’s Western History Collection.


William Allen

William L. Allen, a metallurgist who founded the Sheffield Steel Company of Kansas City, bought Ken-Caryl Ranch from the banks in 1938. He tried to rebuild the property to its former grandeur, evicting some of the tenant farmers, including a family living with their pigs in the old Bradford house. Allen made no money raising cattle, and then World War II forced him to focus most of his attention on the steel business.

Life and Times of John C. Shaffer

John C. Shaffer was a self-made millionaire who purchased the land that is now Ken-Caryl Ranch and built the Manor House. This video chronicles his life.

John C. Shaffer at Ken-Caryl Ranch

What we know today as Ken-Caryl Ranch began on Oct. 17, 1914, when John Charles Shaffer purchased 2,660 acres of land southwest of Denver, naming the ranch for his sons, Kent and Carroll.

Perley Family Video

“Stories of the Perley Family” is told by Karen Alonzi van Gundy, great-great granddaughter of James Adams Perley, the pioneer who immigrated to Colorado during the gold rush days and eventually settled in 1895 on the North Ranch site of the current Bradford-Perley House. Her stories share the adventures of James Adams Perley’s travels from his home in northern Vermont, across the United States to Black Hawk, and finally to the foothills of what was to become Ken-Caryl Ranch. Karen shares memories of her grandfather, Charles Beauchamp Beall, describing life at the Ranch a century ago.

Bradford Perley House Video

The Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society created this video documenting Major Robert B. Bradford’s life and the history of the Bradford Perley House.

Prehistoric Archaeology Video

As you roam around the red rock formations on Ken-Caryl Ranch, have you wondered about life in this area thousands of years ago? The Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society has produced a short video describing some archaeological sites and prehistoric life in our community. Jack Warner, a member of the Colorado Archaeological Society and also a resident of Ken-Caryl Ranch, provided the information and many of the pictures used in the production.

Bradford Students Film Historical Videos

Second-graders at Bradford K-8 have recently enjoyed learning about the history of Ken-Caryl Ranch. Their unit started with a visit to the Hildebrand Ranch and a presentation by Rose Lewis, both of which introduced students to the settlement history of our area. Then after weeks of learning, each student became an expert on either the Bradford-Perley House, Manor House or Colorow’s Cave. Some students also completed additional research about children’s lives in the early 1900s. Students shared their research by filming movies focused on children of the Shaffer family, the Perley family and Native American families.


Ken-Caryl Ranch