Larkspur Historical Society

Bell Mountain Ranch

Bell Mountain Ranch Edward Young

Bell Mountain Ranch is located south of Castle Rock on the east side of I25.  In 2015,  it is a sprawling acreage master planned covenant controlled community.  The five to twelve acre sites cover 2,040 acres with nearly 1,000 acres of open space.

When Larkspur Historical Society members, Phyllis Bonser and Danna Hamling started research, they assumed the ranch was named for a former property owner.  There was an owner with the last name of Bell.

John L. Bell filed a homestead on  (should I put land description) in 1917 and then paid cash for this property in 1920.  In the 1920 census, his home was in Kiowa, Elbert County, Colorado.  He was listed as a farmer.  It would not appear as though he farmed or ranched on this property in Douglas County.

There are many land owners listed for this acreage, beginning in 1870 with Oliver and John Gaff, ending in 1956 with George Medinger.  The following list was primarily settled by land patents, “to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the Public Domain.”   Gaff, Alvin Daniels, John Knox, A. S. Kimball, James H. Williams, Rufus Conant, Jacob Musser, John Upton, Charles and Thomas West, John W. Clarke, Henry McInroy, John Harris, William Cavanagh, Claude Lewis, Claes Burger, Godfrey Raper, John L. Bell, and Medinger.

According to the News Press in an article at the time of the Bell Mountain Ranch sale to developer, Black Creek Group in 1996 , the property known as Bell Mountain Ranch had been a horse and cattle ranch for one hundred years.  This makes for good press but is most likely not the case.  Pieces of this 2,040 acreage had probably been farmed and ranched since 1870.

Edward T. Young, a member of a dairy family in Denver, Colorado, began buying property from William Medinger  and the estate of John Clifford Hawkins in 1965.  His plan was to raise cattle (beef or dairy)?  A young woman from Manitou Springs, Colorado, Carol Nelson applied for a job on this ranch and following several years of employment, interested Edward Young in Morgan horses.

Ms. Nelson is still in the Manitou Springs area and has written an article on the Morgan horses of Bell Mountain (go to website).  Ms. Nelson believes that the name of the ranch came from the shape of one of the mesa formations on the Ranch.

Web-Site  http://www.morganhorse.com/upload/photos/206TMH_July2013_CambridgeMorgans7.13.pdf

Bell Mountain Ranch Story by Carol Nelson