Saturday, October 10, 2015

Perfect weather for WMMI harvest festival

Rob Carrigan,

Every fall the Harvest Festival at Reynolds Ranch draws thousands to pick out a pumpkin or two, experience the lost arts of stamp milling, black smithing, cider pressing, gold panning and maybe — take a tractor ride and watch the steam shovel operate.

"Colorado Springs has been growing at an unprecedented pace for more than a century now and much of our colorful and unique history is being lost in the process. The Western Museum of Mining and Industry is located on the property now known as the Reynolds Ranch," says information from the museum.

"We are all ready for it," said Rick Sauers, executive director of the Museum, earlier last week at a Chamber of Commerce function. "Expecting good weather and large crowds."

Weather for the two day event over the weekend was exceptional. The annual celebration is fundraiser for the museum and features all of the above, plus a whole lot more.

"In the early 1890s, Sara and Joseph Reynolds moved west to Colorado from Pennsylvania and built the Little Red Farm House. Their farm became a working ranch that included a saw-mill and dairy farm. Over the following century, many people important to Colorado Front Range history called the ranch home, including Lazarus Khan – namesake of the mineral Khanite – and founder of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society," according to officials at the museum.

"The Reynold’s house was originally part of the town of Husted, CO. Husted provided many of the raw materials necessary for the rapidly growing urban center of Colorado Springs, including milk, ice, lumber, and fox fur. With the slow decline of mining around the Front Range region, Husted slowly faded away into history. During the 1950s, the US Air Force purchased the land that Husted occupied and removed all of the remaining homes and buildings," according to their research.

The only house that survived the too common fate of Husted was the Reynolds home and their ranch. Once over 700 acres, it is now a 27-acre museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting Colorado’s mining, industrial and regional history.

"Included in the State Register of Historic Properties in 1997, the Reynolds Ranch House has two distinctive characteristics. First, it is a Queen Anne Farmhouse in a rural setting. Second, it is the last vestige of the once-thriving community of Husted, a former Denver & Rio Grande railroad supply town and depot. Prior to the museum’s ownership, nine different families owned the house. The Previous owners have made minor modification over the years. The museum intends to restore the home as an 1894 Queen Anne farmhouse before providing tours and other interpretive activities," museum information says.

Photo Information:
  1. Apples, raised near in Pueblo, decorated a vendor table Saturday morning.
  2. Board member Mark Yoder and volunteer Joe Gray gear up the cider press.
  3. Rachael Foote (9), and Robert Foote (7), look over the pumpkins in the patch.
  4. Riley Ewel (left) is showing a small nugget of color in the gold pan.
  5. Beckett Anible, almost 2, and his parents, Scott and Nadine, find the donkey livestock (Nugget and Chism) captivating.
  6. Doing the height check on the great pumpkin in the yard.
  7. Tomatoes, beans, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and other produce galore.
  8. Steve Barry captains a 1936 John Deere tractor for tours of the facility.

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