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Fascinating piece by the Denver Post reviews a growing trend towards preservation of historic buildings in Littleton, Co.  

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As I was meandering through time in my recollections I thought of a great little ranch that was located on County Line Road. I moved to Colorado in 1969 and driving out to the end of Broadway to a dirt road called County Line I drove to an eye catching sign called the Flyin' B Ranch. I remember a friend of mine renting the house on the property and he invited me out to it for a few beers and a dip in the pond. Surrounded by large cottonwood trees we could get away with skinny dipping if you remember what that was. How refreshing! So I wanted to find out about the history of the place and ran across a book full of factoids called The Highline Canal Meandering through time by David Skari, Phd. Here is his story.
In 1917 John Bowen Sr. purchased a 240 acre ranch near present day County Line Road and Lucent Blvd. They raised cattle, grain, and feed crops. It was John Jrs. responsibility to herd the cattle they grazed along County Line Road to University Blvd. and along University to around the vicinity of present day Southglenn Mall. John would ride a bicycle to herd the cattle.
In a strange chain of events John Jr. and his father were able to purchase a 429 acre farm from Charlie Stevens. By 1954 John Jr. and his father owned approximately 1,000 acres bounded between Santa Fe Drive to Broadway and Jackass Hill Rd. to south of County Line Road. A drought occurred in Colorado in 1953 and again in 1954. Due to below normal precipitation, waster flowed in the Highline Canal for only one day in 1953 and again in 1954. Disillusioned at watching  their cropswither in the heat for lack of water and having to pay for water rights in which little water was actually delivered, John Jr. and his father had enough of farm,ing under the Highline Canal. Jhon Jr. and his father sols all but 80 acres and purchased a farm near Strasburg Colorado. On the remaining acres the Bowen family kept their homes that were west of Broadway near Mineral Ave, built an airstrip, and would fly back and forth to the Strasburg farm. Hence the reason their ranch was named the Flyin' B.
In the early 1960s Gates Rubber Co. wanted to expand their operations to the south and acquired land to the east and west of the Bowens ranch. Gates Rubber Co. wanted the Bowens 80 acres that lay between. After alot of pressure, John Jr. agreed to part with his property if the Gates Rubber Co. purchased a ranch from Fred Eberhardt and the Bowens swapped their land. The Flyin' B Ranch has been at its present location since 1965. John and Kates white two story home was built in the 1906 by Matt Plews. Mr. Plews was a talented horticulturalist who ran a truck garden on the property for many years. In 1937, he sold the house to O.E. "Smiling Charlie" Stephens, who ran an illegal gambling operation from the house. In 1944 the Stephens family sold the property to Fred and Marguerite Eberhardt. In 1967, the Eberhardt family sold the property to the Gates Rubber Co. who traded the site with the Bowen Family for their ranch located at Broadway and County Line Road.
In the mid 1980s, construction of C-470 was routed through the heart of the Flyin' B Ranch. The Bowen Family held onto the property until 2004 when they sold it to Erickson Retirement Community. In 2006, the house and surrounding five acres were conveyed to the Highlands Ranch Metro District. The Fylin' B Park was built and opened in 2010.
     So as I have depicted in my watercolor painting of the of the Flyin' B Ranch I have fond memories of going out their on mornings and drawing and painting the landscape of a quaint farming area. And who can remember the roller coaster ride on County Line Road.Amen.
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I drive by this school everyday, a school that time has forgotten and that is the Curtis School . For nearly 90 years Curtis School was located on the southwest corner of University Blvd and Orchard road. In 1901 Mary J Curtis donated the land for the school that would bear her family's name. The original school was a one room wood frame structure. In 1914 the clapboard building was replaced with a red brick structure complementing a cupola, bell and a stage. The school was heated by a coal furnace and had no electricity, plumbing or running water. Their were two outhouse's in the school yard.
Over the years the school had several improvements. In 1927, electricity was installed. In 1932 the school was expanded with the addition of two classrooms. In 1934, one bathroom was installed in the basement as well as plumbing. In the early 1950's the bell was removed and given to Mission Hills Community Church. The last class passed through the school in 1967. From 1967 to 1985 the Curtis School building was used as offices for Littleton Public Schools instructional services. In 1985 Mission Hills Community Church purchased the Curtis school and in 1987 requested that Greenwood village exercise it's option to move the school as the church wanted to use the land to expand their facilities. The school was moved to it's present location and on Sept. 28th, 1991 the Curtis school was dedicated as the Greenwood Village Arts and Humanities Center. I only hope that the people that went to school there have precious memories and not to forget what a cherished institution it was. Visit it sometime. I have included a present picture of it as well as some archived photos. It's really cool.
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2016-01-15
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