When : Saturday August 7
Time :Â Â 4.30 â€“ 7pm
Where : Highlands Ranch Mansion
With the beautiful back drop of the Highlands Ranch Mansion, enjoy an evening of music in open lawn setting.Â Music is provided by Dotsero and The Deborah Stafford Quintet.Â On the night you can purchase snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine (no outside alcoholic beverage allowed).
Cost : $20 in advance, $25 on the day if not sold out.
To purchase, visit any HRCA Recreation center or call 303-471-8859
History of the Mansion
The MansionÂ comprises ofÂ 22,000 square feet and features 14 bedrooms, 11
bathrooms, 5 fireplaces, a great room, a ballroom, a dining room, a billiard room, a
library, a butlerâ€™s pantry and kitchen, a private courtyard, and an elegant staircase.
The property functions today as it did in the past, as a working ranch.
The Highlands Ranch Mansion, and the land on which it stands, is an area with a
rich and colorful history from its many owners. Between the years of 1540 and 1700,
the land changed ownership between Spain and France several times. As part of the
Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Thomas Jefferson negotiated the land from Napoleon
Bonaparte to become part of the United States. The Highlands Ranch land was also
once the hunting ground for the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe Native Americans.
The 1860â€™s brought great changes for this area when David Gregory in 1867, under
the Homestead Act, filed for 80 acres and acquired a land grant, becoming the first
homesteader to live on Highlands Ranch land.
In 1879 Austrian immigrants, John Welte and his brother-in-law Plaziduo Gassner,
began the Big Dry Creek Cheese Ranch. They started the dairy ranch with 21 cows
and produced butter and brick and limburger cheese. Â After the death of Plaziduo in
1883, the ranch continued to grow and be successful.
John W. Springer, a wealthy man with a background in politics, banking, and law
moved to the area with his family. Â Between 1890 and 190, Springer amassed
property to total 23,200 acres and became the largest landholder in the area by
acquiring many of the original homesteads. He established the Springer Cross
Country Horse and Cattle Ranch and began constructing the caste-like home we
know as the Highland Ranch Mansion in 1891, building about 60% of the present
In 1909, five years after the death of his first wife, Springer met and married his
second wife, Isabelle Paterson, and named his mansion Castle Isabelle. While
Springer introduced Isabelle Paterson to Denverâ€™s high society, this beautiful young
womanâ€™s actions gave them plenty about which to gossip. She had an addiction to
nightlife, drugs, and adventure. In 1911, her extra-marital exploits resulted in a
highly publicized murder of an alleged lover at Denverâ€™s Brown Palace Hotel by
another one of her alleged lovers.
Following a scandal-ridden divorce and the custody loss of his child from his first
wife, Springer sold the Cross Country Horse and Cattle Ranch to his former father-in-
law. Springerâ€™s daughter inherited the land and held the property until 1920 when
she sold it to Waite Phillips.
In 1926, Frank E. Kistler purchased the ranch and with the help of architect J.B.
Benedict, Kistler and his wife began extensive renovations to the mansion. They
added a west wing in the English Tudor style featuring a shake-shingle roof, gables,
and carved wood trims. Various fireplaces, hardwood floors, two secret panels, and
an unusual one-lane bowling alley directly east of the mansion, were included in
Kistlerâ€™s elaborate remodeling. In 1937, during the mist of the Great Depression,
Kistler had to sell the ranch due to financial difficulties.
Lawrence Phipps, Jr., a son of a former Colorado Senator, bought the property for
cattle ranching and changed the name to Highland Ranch. Between 1937 and up
until his death in 1976, Phipps sold some of the original land holdings and acquired
the East Ranch and the Cheese Ranch properties, expanding the property to an
accumulated 22,009 acres of the present day land. During this time, the property
was also headquarters for a prestigious group of horsebacked hunters known as the
Arapahoe Hunt Club. The Club frequently hunted the land for coyotes using
Marvin Davis purchased the land in 1976 shortly after Phipps death. Davis formed
the Highlands Ventures Corporation to market the property, and in 1978, Mission
Viejo Co. entered into a two-year option agreement to become the official owners of
the Highlands Ranch lands in 1979. Mission Viejo Co. began residential construction
in1980 and the first residents, the Phil and Kaye Scott family, moved into Highlands
Ranch in September 1981. Shea Homes purchased the property in 1997.
Today the Mansion property still functions as a working cattle and horse ranch. The
property includes two cottages, numerous barns, stables, bunkhouse facilities, a
carriage house and a windmill.