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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.