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Rooney Ranch

  • Rooney Valley

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    In the fall of 1861, Alexander Rooney established Rooney Ranch in a grassy valley with good water between Green Mountain and Dinosaur Ridge in Jefferson County.
    Rooney Valley
  • Main House

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    By about 1865, Alexander Rooney and his brother-in-law, Thomas Littlefield, had built a two-story stone ranch house, which is now one of the oldest stone buildings in Jefferson County.
    Main House
  • Inspiration Tree Picnic Area

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    In the twentieth century, Alexander Rooney's grandson Alex built a picnic area and dance pavilion beside Inspiration Tree on the slope of Dinosaur Ridge, where the Ute chief Colorow held councils in the late 1800s.
    Inspiration Tree Picnic Area
  • Rooney Ranch

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    The development of the Denver suburbs has encroached upon what is left of the ranch, especially since the completion of C-470 in the 1980s, but the ranch is still owned and managed by members of the Rooney family and has been increasingly recognized for its historical significance.
    Rooney Ranch
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John Davidson, Katherine Honda, and Beth Simmons, The Rooney Ranch (Morrison, CO: Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, 2010).

Kieran Nicholson, “Historic Rooney Ranch Dwindles with Impending Sale of 140 Acres,” The Denver Post, February 1, 2006.

Steven Raabe, “Preservation Hand in Hand with Tradition,” The Denver Post, October 11, 2009.

“Rooney Ranch,” National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form (1974).

Rooney Ranch: Historic American Buildings Survey Recordation, Project C-470/Centennial Parkway (Colorado Department of Highways, August 1983).

Additional Information: 

Carole Lomond et al., Jefferson County, Colorado: A Unique and Eventful History (Golden, CO: Views Publishing, 2009).

Members of the Jefferson County Historical Commission, From Scratch: A History of Jefferson County, Colorado (Golden, CO: Jefferson County Historical Commission, 1985).

Alvin T. Steinel, History of Agriculture in Colorado, 1858 to 1926 (Fort Collins, CO: State Agricultural College, 1926).