RLR Today

After the death of General Palmer in 1909, Rock Ledge Ranch historic homes were sold as a part of the Glen Eyrie estate. In 1916, a group of Oklahoma businessmen purchased the Glen Eyrie Estate for $150,000, with the hopes to turn the property into a golf resort with luxury homes. By 1917, the United States had entered World War I, and their plans had folded. Alexander Smith Cochran then purchased the property for $450,000 in 1918. Cochran soon found the Glen Eyrie castle was far too expensive to maintain and it fell into disrepair. After Cochran’s death in 1929, the property was left neglected and on the real estate market for another nine years.

The economy saw improvements in 1938, and the Texas oilman, George W. Strake, bought Glen Eyrie castle estate for $200,000. Around the same time in the 1940s, the Chambers Ranch, as it had been called, was acquired by the Dent family.

In the 1950s, the Vrooman family acquired the Rock Ledge Ranch property. The Orchard House was occupied by the Vrooman family, with additions of a pool house and an outdoor pool, West of the home. The Rock Ledge House was converted into a duplex. The renovations of the buildings around the Ranch included a white coat of paint with green trim, giving the surrounding area the moniker “White House Ranch.”

It wasn’t until 1968, when the historic homes were at risk of demolition and the property was going to be subdivided, that El Pomar and the Bemis Foundation joined forces to assist the City of Colorado Springs purchase of the Ranch and land to add to the preserve the area surrounding the Garden of the Gods. In 1993, the preservation of the Rock Ledge House ensued. By 1995, the Ranch name was changed back to ‘Rock Ledge Ranch,’ which was the name that the Chambers family had used to describe their land in the 1880’s. The Ranch underwent a total restoration to honor the mission to: preserve, protect, restore, and maintain the natural and historic integrity of the site. As a living history museum, the Ranch provides a safe, educational and experiential program that interprets the social, agricultural, and economic development of the Pikes Peak region. Visitors can escape from their modern day lives to experience history with all 5 senses and make memories for a lifetime.

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