Highlands Ranch Parks

Hi everyone,

Summer is just around the corner and that means taking the kids to the park! Did you know there are 25 parks in Highlands Ranch? Did you also know that they all have a variety of features and amenities? Lucky for you we have taken the time to LIST each park and what it has to offer so you don’t have to visit each one (unless you want too)! So visit our page and click on the picture of the park you are interested in, you will find information on Sports Fields, Restrooms, Picnic Tables and more! Click on this page and you will see a map of the parks location and be able to get directions from your home. Have a great summer!

New Home Builders Page

We have a new feature on our website with information about New Home Builders from around the area. We have started with Highlands Ranch but will be including Parker, Castle Rock, Littleton and other areas in South Metro Denver. New construction is heating up and more and more new home sites are coming on line. With the shortage of re-sales available and low interest rates, new homes are becoming a viable option for first time buyers, those looking to downsize or families that have out grown their current home. Many builders are offering great incentives and purchasing new eliminates the worry of finding a new home once yours is sold. So take a look at our new page, and give us a call if you would like to see some of these new sites or just would like to discuss your options. 303-683-4837

 

Highlands Ranch History

Highlands Ranch Mansion

Highlands Ranch Windmill 1859 Although the modern community was founded in 1981, the first settlers built their lives in this area more than 100 years ago.

Below you can read about the history of the land now called Highlands Ranch. Thanks to the Highlands Ranch Historical Society and Shea Homes for much of this historical information. To learn more about the history of our community, please contact the Highlands Ranch Historical Society at www.highlandsranchhistoricalsociety.org.

Windmills were very important to ranchers because they helped supply water to cattle in various pastures. The historic windmill above stands today on the ranch property.

Dad Rufus “Potato” Clark

Dad Rufus H. “Potato” Clark was once known as the Potato King of Colorado. In 1859, he filed on a 160-acre homestead at the location of today’s Highlands Ranch Golf Club. At this time, Colorado farmers were very successful at growing potato crops and Rufus decided to try his hand. His first harvest was so abundant that he became known as Colorado’s Potato King.

The Highlands Ranch Mansion

History of the Highlands Ranch Mansion and Ranch

MansionDid you know . . . the Highlands Ranch Mansion encompasses 17,000 square feet. The nearby barns and ranch buildings total 41,000 square feet.

The historic Highlands Ranch Mansion and ranch stand today as valuable pieces of history, reflecting the lifestyle of early settlers and pioneers of the area now known as Highlands Ranch, Colorado. More than 100 years old, this magnificent structure has been home to some of Denver’s more notable families.

For many years, it was believed the Mansion’s first owner was John Springer, whose information is below.  During the Highlands Ranch Metro District’s 18-month renovation, an important discovery was made.  The word Rotherwood was discovered etched in stone above the original door to the home near the 1891 etching.  The Rotherwood reference was traced to the Mansion’s first owner, Samuel Allen Long, originally from Pittsburg, PA.  Long was one of the first petroleum refiners in 1861.  He was Director of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O Railroad for Monopoly fans).  Long moved to Colorado in 1880.  He had business interests in coal mining, gold mining, livestock, timber, real estate and farming.  Long filed a homestead in 1884 for 40 acres in Douglas County.  He then acquired 2,000 acres in 1888 and called it Rotherwood after a boyhood farm.  Long was recognized as an innovator of dry land farming techniques in 1889 and 1890.  When visiting the Mansion, look directly above the small door located on the east porch to see both the 1891 and the Rotherwood etchings.

The Mansion’s next owner was John Springer, whose wife Eliza’s ill health forced a move to Denver in 1897. In 1891, Springer began construction of the Mansion. The original building reflected a Russian castle style. He completed almost 60 percent of the present structure. Springer quickly rose to local prominence and was active in politics, running for mayor of Denver. In 1904, Springer’s wife died. He re-married Isabelle, and renamed the mansion Castle Isabelle.

Springer sold the ranch to Colonel Hughes, his first father-in-law, in 1913. Hughes later stabled horses in the ranch house and renamed the property Sunland Ranch. When Colonel Hughes died in 1918, the land passed to his granddaughter, Annie Clifton Springer Hughes. Anne and her husband Lafayette sold the mansion in 1920 to Waite Phillips, one of the brothers who founded Phillips Petroleum. Phillips owned the property for about six years and first introduced the name Highlands Ranch. In 1926, Phillips sold the mansion to Frank E. Kistler for $425,000.

Kistler converted the ranch into a breeding ranch specializing in dairy and Angus cattle, purebred sheep, hogs and chickens. The ranch was then known as the Diamond K Ranch. Local parks are named after Kistler and the Diamond K Ranch. At the same time, Kistler added the final 40 percent of the mansion and altered the style to a classic Tudor. The six fireplaces, nine bedrooms, hardwood floors and a secret passageway were reminiscent of the European homes and alllowed for entertaining in grand style.

The photo above was taken from the Mansion’s main entrance looking out at the foothills to the west.

Kistler invited Lawrence C. Phipps, Jr., to relocate the Arapahoe Hunt Club to the southern part of the ranch in 1929. This foxhunt club is still active today, although at a different location. Kistler’s subsequent financial troubles caused him to sell the entire property to Phipps in 1937, for $250. Phipps’ father, Lawrence C. Phipps, Sr., made his fortune with Carnegie Steel. The Phipps family members have been prominent leaders of industry in Colorado with involvement in construction, trucking, professional sports, including the Denver Broncos, ranching and real estate, among others. The Phipps family acquired the property as a residence and a working ranch and renamed it Highlands Ranch. Under their skillful management, the property again prospered.

Lawrence Phipps, Jr. died in 1976 and the ranch was sold to Marvin Davis, of Davis Oil Corporation, for more than $13 million. He re-sold the property in 1978 to Mission Viejo Company, which had a vision of a master planned community. In 1997, Mission Viejo Company was purchased by Shea Homes.

The ranch encompasses 250 acres. While the main purpose of the ranching operation has been beef production, the ranch also included a dairy operation, which was located in the northern barn. The brick silos connected to the barn provided storage for cattle feed during the winter. The bunkhouse west of the dairy barn provided lodging for many of the ranch hands who worked on the property. The next barn was used for general maintenance activities within the ranch. The corrals to the south and east of the barns were typically used during the calving and branding operations.

The windmill south of the mansion is the site of the primary well used for the ranching headquarters and mansion. The well is still in operation; however, the pump is now powered by electricity. There were quite a number of wells drilled throughout Highlands Ranch so that water would be available for cattle in each pasture.

In 2010, Shea Homes gave the Mansion and funds for its renovation, to the Highlands Ranch Metro District.  After conducting a comprehensive renovation of this beautiful building, the Metro District opened the Mansion to the public and for private event rentals, in June 2012.

Learn more about the historic Highlands Ranch Mansion and the days and times you can visit during open hours, by visiting www.highlandsranchmansion.com.

Highlands Ranch Recreation Centers

If you live in Highlands Ranch you have access to 4 recreation centers all with many of the same features such as pools, workout areas, playing fields and more. But did you know that each one has unique features that set it apart from the others? Westridge for instance has batting cages and Southridge has a pottery studio and Auditorium. Want to practice your climbing skills? Eastridge has a rock climbing wall several stories high! How about some high diving in the pool, Northridge has got you covered.

If you want to find out more about what each facility has to offer click HERE and you will be directed to a Rec Center comparison chart I created listing what each has to offer. That’s one of the things we love about Highlands Ranch, you have so many choices and things to do right here within the community.

 

Winter Watering in Highlands Ranch

If…. When…. And How should you water this winter?

Highlands Ranch Winter WateringYes to avoid damage to grass and plants you should water wisely all winter long. Highlands Ranch can be subject to long periods of dry weather. During these prolong periods (3 to 4 weeks), you should water 1 to 2 times a month. South facing landscape my require more.

You want to water when there is no snow covering and temperatures are above 40 degrees. You want to avoid freezing so do not water late in the day when the sun is going down.

Hand watering (for plants and trees) or using a hose connected sprinkler (for lawns) is best. Make sure and disconnect your hose from the spigot when you are done to protect your pipes from freezing.

As always seek professional advice for your own home.

Pinette Realty Group Client Appreciation Party

2014 was a great year! So we wanted to express our gratitude with our first ever Client Appreciation Party. We had a great time and enjoyed visiting with everyone! We are gearing up for 2015 and are pushing to increase our Highlands Ranch listings.

Thanks again for a wonderful year.

Pinette Realty Group Client Appreciation Party
Horse & Carriage Dropping Off Guests