Take I-25 to Exit 192 (Ridgegate Pkwy), then proceed 2.5 miles east. Stepping Stone is on the south side of the roadway. View Map

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Cherokee Castle & Ranch: A castle for us commoners
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Cherokee Castle & Ranch: A castle for us commoners

No trip over the pond planned this summer? That’s okay. Now you can skip the jet lag and still feed your obsession for all things British with a mere 25-minute drive down to your local 15th century Scottish-style castle. Yes, Stepping Stone residents can easily access this truly stunning blend of European elegance and Western charm—and sample fun and educational events.

This 3,400-acre sanctuary in Sedalia is home to secluded open spaces, wildlife, and 22 historic structures, including the iconic stone castle, a 1920s landmark with echoes of 1450s Scotland. The 24-room castle features towers, turrets, gargoyles, eight fireplaces, soaring wooden arches, and intricate cut-stone walls. Historical paintings, furniture, and other accessories are on display, along with drawings by Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. An expansive terrace offers breathtaking views of the Front Range, stretching from Pikes Peak to Longs Peak and beyond.

In addition to ogling all the fine art, architecture, and views, plan to take in some of the castle’s countless events. From June to December, a performing arts series features the work of Colorado Symphony Chamber Music, Denver Center Theatre Company, Denver Brass, and the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. Other performances showcase local and regional talent, while additional events include castle tours, fancy afternoon teas, and educational programs that focus on culture and the arts, environmental science, Colorado and Western history and heritage, wildlife, and ranching. Possibilities abound with onsite resources like 13th century Indian caves, an 1840s mountain man trail used by trappers and traders, mid-1860s homesteads, and more. See the event calendar here.

On a castle tour, you can learn about the history of the property, which stretches back to the late 1890s, when it was divided between the Flower and Blunt Homesteads. The land was put to agricultural use then, growing potatoes, wheat, and sorghum, and grazing cattle. In 1924, the castle was built by the Johnson family, who sold the property to Tennessean Mildred “Tweet” Kimball in 1954. (Just one of the place’s many interesting stories…Tweet took ownership of the castle after her ex-husband told her he’d buy her anything as long as she stayed west of the Mississippi.) Tweet lived at Cherokee Ranch until her death in 1999, and thanks to her vision and generosity, the property is now under the watchful care of the Douglas County Open Lands Coalition. Very good news for all of us living south of Denver…and far west of the Old World.  Learn more here.

June 23, 2015

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