Sunday, October 20, 2013

17 Mile House Farm Park

I knew it was an old homestead. That's all I needed to know.

There was a fall festival going on at the 17 Mile House Farm Park and I was going to go even if it meant dragging the rest of the family with me. Luckily, I didn't have to drag anyone. They all wanted to come with me.

From the Arapahoe County website:
The 17 Mile House has a long and significant history. When the 1859-1860 gold rush resulted in large-scale settlement of the state, a series of inns emerged along Cherry Creek to accommodate travelers and freighters. 
These 'mile houses' were located every 2-3 miles along the Cherokee/Smoky Hill wagon trails from Kansas, all named based on their distance to the intersection of Colfax and Broadway. 
Upon arrival, travelers could get a meal, spend the night, rest their animals and have minor repairs made to their coaches or wagons. Out of the original six mile houses, only 17 Mile House and 4 Mile House exist in their entirety today. 
With arrival of the railroad in 1882, pioneer traffic along the wagon trails ended, and so did the need for mile houses. But the name stuck. For over 100 years, hard-working Coloradans lived on the land at 17 Mile House.

For the Fall Festival, all sorts of activities were set up. They had a pumpkin patch, hay rides, a petting farm, food, crafts and exhibits.

Of course, I just wanted to look around and see how things were "put together" back then.

The "Pickles" got a lesson in gold panning from the local non-profit group "Gold Prospectors Of The Rockies".

We watched a blacksmith work his magic.

The "Pickles" shook cream in jars until it turned into butter.

 We all liked the cow. She seemed gentle and sweet.

The "Pickles" kept giving her more and more hay and she kept right on eating it. I was worried with all the children feeding her, she would eat too much.

As the highlight of the day, the "Pickles" and I got to milk her! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. The Boy kept exclaiming on the way home "I milked a cow!"

For directions as well as tour dates and times, please visit the Arapahoe County website.

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