History

 

Information below was borrowed from the CSFS Forest Stewardship Plan of 2004:

West Ranch has a rich history.  Archaeological sites within the Ranch have yielded prehistoric and Woodland Indian artifacts.  A site within the nearby Ken-Caryl Ranch, thought to have been used as a shelter for indigenous peoples, has been dated to 565 B.C.   Nearly 250 sites have been found on the entire Ranch.

After European settlement in Colorado and the subsequent need for raw materials from the mountains surrounding Denver, the Bradford Toll Road was constructed in 1860.  It began at what is the present-day Ken-Caryl North Ranch and followed South Turkey Creek to Bradford Junction, where it joined several other roads.  These roads carried goods to and from the gold and silver mines, as well as ranching and timbering areas, farther west in South Park and beyond.  Additionally, it was the route of the main highway before present U.S. Highway 285 was relocated in about 1950.

West Ranch was historically a part of a 10,000-acre ranch, first purchased and settled by Major Robert Boyles Bradford in 1859.  The ranch changed hands several times until 1971, when it was purchased by the Johns-Manville Corporation.  Johns-Manville bought it in 1971, with the intent of locating its corporate headquarters there as well as setting aside home sites.  Parcels of land in West Ranch first went on sale in 1976.

The land surrounding West Ranch is owned by private citizens, Denver Mountain Parks, and the Ken-Caryl Ranch Master Association (Open Space).