Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site or the Chambers Ranch is a living history museum (sometimes called an open-air museum) and farm located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States. Restored buildings and period-appropriate attired museum guides depict life in the Pikes Peak region in four time periods and in four different households: American Indian life in 1775; an 1860s cabin (Galloway Homestead); an 1880s farm (Chambers Home and Ranch); and a 1907 Edwardian Country Estate. Each residence (teepee, log cabin, farm house, mansion) reflects the construction and contents of homes of those periods. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
Museum guides, each wearing clothing specific to the time period and type of residence, explain and demonstrate activities of daily life of those who lived in the homes. Visitors see and learn how people from different time periods lived in the Colorado Springs area, what they wore, what they ate, how they cooked their meals, how they cleaned themselves and their clothes, what they did for entertainment, and how they made their living.
There is a working blacksmith shop on site and a barn with horses, and a chicken coop. Sheep and cows graze around the farm, and at one time, peacocks were resident. All museum guides respond to questions, demonstrate daily living skills, and voluntarily offer information about the character they are portraying in actions, speech, and dress.
The museum hosts 65,000 people on an annual basis. Many visitors discover Rock Ledge Ranch due to its location immediately adjacent to the entrance to Garden of the Gods, a registered national natural landmark of 300 feet high orange-red rock formations jutting out of the earth.
Because of the city of Colorado Spring's economic difficulties since 2009, its funding and continued existence was threatened however an aggressive fundraising campaign has generated huge public support as well as additional opportunities to experience this setting due to themed special events such as wine tastings and a Shakespeare festival.