As we explored a local Canyon, an old homestead caught our eye and we decided to take a closer look. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find an expansive property, with many signs of American settlers and historic wagon trails. I was surprised at how much historical information was available about the property and how well preserved it was.
In 1894, Patrick and Margaret Lucas paid $10 for this 160-acre homestead. For nearly 50 years they lived and worked here, raising a family of eight children and building many structures that continue to give us clues and inspire stories about life on a historic western homestead.
The Lucas home is built of concrete, an unusual choice for the time when most homes were made of wood. However; it allows us to have a glimpse into the life of an 1800's homesteaders. Since Margaret left the property in 1941, the house was empty but intact. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed much of the house years ago, but what remains gives us an idea of its original size and hints about the interior and exterior. For example, the opening in the back wall gives historians insights into what the family ate, what they used to heat the house, and what types of local medicines were made.
The Apple Tree planted by Patrick and his children can still be seen on the north side of the property. They still bear fruit in autumn and have been here for over 100 years. Each spring, On the eastern side of the property, you can see Margaret's lilacs bloom. Perfuming the air around rock outcroppings that her children once played on.
The 160-acre estate fell into abandonment for more than 100 years. Eventually, the descendants of the Lucas family donated the land to an organization called "Friends of Castlewood Canyon". Later the property was sold to the state of Colorado and was added to the adjacent state park, "Castlewood Canyon State Park".
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