Highlands Ranch Colorado history has an interesting beginning. It began as a potato farm in 1859. “Dad” Rufus Clark purchased a 160-acre homestead from the U.S. government. Dad Clark is named for him.
Rufus Clark was born in Connecticut. He served 16 years on a whaling vessel before jumping ship in California. From there he managed to make his way to Colorado. He acquired additional land, eventually amassing 20,000 acres. Without Rufus we wouldn’t have any Highlands Ranch Colorado history.
John Springer acquired a portion of this land in the late 1800s. He built Castle Isabel (Highlands Ranch Mansion). He built the home for his wife Eliza, who was ill. She died in 1904. He re-married Isabel Patterson who was 20 years younger than he. He named his mansion after her. She preferred city life, so had a suite at the Brown Palace Hotel. She was involved in a murder at the hotel, and Springer divorced her 5 days after the shooting.
In 1920, the mansion was acquired by Waite Phillips, whose brothers started Phillips Petroleum. Historians believe that the was the first person to call the ranch “Highland Ranch”.
Frank Kistler purchased the property in 1926 and renamed the Ranch “Diamond K” Ranch. Kistler made expensive changes to the property, including changing the style from a castle to the Tudor Revival style. He sold the property during the great depression due to financial difficulties.
Lawrence C. Phipps, Jr., purchased the land in 1937. He changed the name back again to Highland Ranch. He raised cattle on the ranch as well as making it the home to Arapahoe Hunt. The mansion is over 22,000 square feet has 14 bedrooms, 11 baths, 5 fireplaces and various other rooms for entertaining.
Marvin Davis purchased the land after Phipps died. It was Davis,who along with Mission Viejo Corporation, gave life to present day Highlands Ranch.
The Mansion is open to the public on Tuesday and Thursdays from 9 am to 2 pm. Check first before going as times and days may be subject to change. It is a great place to visit to relive some of Highlands Ranch Colorado history.
For more information about Highlands Ranch Colorado History, Highlands Ranch Colorado Real Estate or homes for sale along the Front Range, call Marilyn Van Steenberg, Dream Home Consultant, Certified Residential Specialist and Eco-Broker.
Specializing in Buyer Representation & Relocation Real Estate Transactions.