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CENNTENIAL, CO – The iconic red barn at Arapahoe County’s 17 Mile House Farm Park will soon be stabilized and preserved with the support of a $200,000 grant from History Colorado State Historical Fund. Construction on the $320,000 project is slated to start this month, which will limit access at the park until fall 2019.
“The 17 Mile House Farm Park is not only a treasured part of the Arapahoe County Open Spaces program, it is an iconic and historic landmark in our community,” said Commissioner Nancy Sharpe, District 2. “Completing the much-needed stabilization of the barn will allow the public to explore and experience this historic jewel – citizens can step back in time to experience the County’s rich pioneer and agricultural traditions and history.”
A significant portion of the park, including the barn, milking shed, east windmill, chicken coop and poultry yard will be closed to the public. Visitors will still have access to the 17 Mile House and the Cherry Creek Regional Trailhead, although parking will be limited. Visitors to the 17 Mile House and Farm Park should follow all closure signs, stay out of restricted areas and watch for construction traffic while exploring the park.
The 17 Mile House is the last remaining mile house in Colorado in its original rural location and setting. Originally, the house was a stopping point on the Cherokee and Smoky Hill Trails as gold seekers and settlers made their way west along these wagon routes.
The barn was constructed in the late 1870s. Over the years, time and the elements have taken a toll on the structure rendering the barn unsafe for public access. The grant - coupled with matching funds from the Arapahoe County Open Space Sales and Use Tax and a donation from the Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society - will support foundation repairs, roof replacement, weatherproofing and reconstruction of the east brick wall of the structure. Once these improvements are complete, the barn will display farm equipment from the 1940s and 50s, be accessible for public tours, and support historical education events, and agricultural demonstrations from that era.
The Open Spaces department offers free monthly tours of the house, educates school groups and is the backdrop for the County’s annual Fall Festival. In 2018, more than 30,000 people explored the historic property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places through the US Department of the Interior. The farm park also serves as a trailhead for the Cherry Creek Regional Trail, which serves more than 180,000 annual recreational and commuter trail users.
For more information about the 17 Mile House Farm Park or barn project updates, please visit www.arapahoegov.com/openspaces.