News – Andy Morris (Ranch Manager)

Good Day LHA Members!
With the New Year right around the corner and hope on the horizon, I would like to look back at the year that most of us can’t wait to see gone.

At the start of the season, it was dicey whether or not we would be able to do our summer living history programs but we were given the “go-ahead” in late spring. After making adaptations to keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe we had a successful summer season. Our numbers were steady and visitors appreciated the opportunity to do safe and educational activities at the Ranch.

This fall we have done several Barnyard Buddies and storytelling programs, facilitated field trips and private tours, and hosted our first Homeschool Day (with over 250 guests in attendance). Unfortunately most of our other fall special events had to be postponed with the exception of a scaled down Harvest Festival.

As we look ahead for next season, we are making plans to have a full calendar of events. Please check our website periodically to keep updated with the latest news from the Ranch.

I hope you and your families are well during this most unusual time. We appreciate your support of Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site and the Living History Association and we look forward to seeing you and your families in 2021.

The Chambers family who built the Rock Ledge House made many improvements to the ranch during their 26 years of ownership- including planting fruit orchards and vegetable gardens as well as creating a reservoir and irrigation system. They supplied local hotels and markets with produce from their fields and greenhouse. In addition, they operated a dairy and used their home as a boarding house.

The Living History Association has taken on the exciting challenge of raising money to recreate the greenhouse in the back yard of the Rock Ledge House where the original structure stood. Although this building will not be an exact rendition of the original, the goal is to represent what the Chambers built in the 1870’s.

Why is this Important?
Having a greenhouse will allow us to expand on our living history program and to interpret the lives of the Chambers family in a way that we haven’t been able to before. The greenhouse will be used to grow heirloom plants that accurately represent what was grown on the property, as well as ornamental varieties that can be displayed in our historic homes. We will be able to create programs around horticulture and have guest speakers. In a culture that has lost its connection to the land and where their food comes from, the Ranch can fill a much needed gap in education. We can also use the knowledge of master gardeners who have already volunteered their services in order to generate revenue and provide fresh produce to our community.

Tens of thousands of dollars have already been raised for this exciting and important project but more money is needed before we can start to move dirt. I would like to see the remaining funds raised before the end of next year and I am fully confident that this goal can be reached. Please continue to support the Living History Association through your membership and if you so desire, a specific donation to the greenhouse effort.

Andy Morris

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