Visiting Hazel’s Kinnikinnick Ranch

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By Hank Alderfer

For a decade in the middle of Winston Jones’ long run exhibiting the world’s largest bell collection, in and around his lovely home at the start of Upper Bear Creek, Orville Hagen gave Bergen Park the right to claim the title of the world’s largest collection of clocks. If you missed visiting the Clock Museum before its closure, you missed the chance to hear more than 1,000 clocks chiming at once. If you missed Winston ringing in the new year before his passing and leaving his collection to Hasting College, you missed a huge and unique opportunity.
The special exhibits that are produced by the crew at the Hiwan Homestead Museum, along with Open Space and the Jeffco Historical Society programs, are a shame not to be included in a busy schedule. Also worthwhile are experiencing a “one-room schoolhouse” at the Medlin School on South Turkey Creek Road, or the work center at Morrison of both the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Denver Mountain Parks. Many families enjoy the Boettcher Nature Center and the Buffalo Bill Museum, both located near Lookout Mountain over Golden.
But the bottom line is, if you miss the chance to arrange a tour of the Humphrey Museum, on the Kinnikinnick Ranch at 620 S. Soda Creek Road north of Bergen Park, you are missing seeing a local treasure besides a world-class collection “of collections.” You are missing an opportunity of your lifetime to view a period collection of silk kimonos while sharing the importance of traveling abroad and the value of this collection that was focused, in part, toward the education of a daughter, Hazel.
Tap into the remarkable history of a remarkable family traveling in a remarkable time that has challenged an outstanding group of volunteers with expanding Hazel Humphrey’s dream and her gift of sharing her education posthumously. Call the museum staff at 303-674-5429 to schedule your group tour at the Humphrey Memorial Park/Museum.

Hank Alderfer, a local resident, was born and raised on a ranch in Buffalo Park. He served on the boards of the Jefferson County Historical Society and the Evergreen Park and Recreation District and is a founder of the Mountain Area Land Trust.