Bring the Hutchinson Homestead & Learning Center to Life this Summer
The Hutchinson Homestead & Learning Center (HH&LC) is open for the summer and excited to announce a variety of opportunities for community members and area visitors of all ages to join us! Located at 8913 W. Hwy 50, halfway between Salida and Poncha Springs, the Hutchinson Homestead & Learning Center is a dynamic heritage site dating back to the 1860’s where today, history and preservation bring the story of the land and community to life through interpretive education programs, celebrations and events.
To kick off the summer, there are two events the first weekend in June. Friday, June 3 kicks off our Alive on Fridays Series. New this year, through June & July, an interpretive program each Friday will highlight the homestead, high-altitude ranching, traditional skills, and more! Each week will include an informational presentation and hands-on activity, and is open to all ages. Our first guest presenter of the season is Abby Hutchinson speaking about the Hutchinson Ranch and cattle ranching, followed by a hike through the historic cattle culvert to the ranch to meet some of the bovine residents that haven't left for the high-country yet. 10:30am-12pm; $5/ person. Following dates in June include Beekeeping & Beeswax Candle Making with Jamie Johnstone of Beekeeper's Honey Boutique on June 10, Blacksmithing & Horseshoeing with Andrew Null on June 17, and Cowboy Culture: Poetry & Roping with Bret Collyer and Chelsea & Casen Pridemore.
Saturday, June 4, from 11am-1pm, join us in Welcoming Kids & Kids! You're invited to help us welcome the newest animal residents to the ranch this summer: chickens and 2 new goats! We will be introducing them to their new homes between 11:15 and 11:45, then celebrate with some homemade ice cream - hand-churned by YOU! Enjoy live music with The Homestead Ramblers (Jack, Steve & Linda), and additional children's activities. Come see what the HH&LC is all about, learn more about HH&LC Summer Camps, check out the new Homestead Store, bring a picnic lunch, and join in the fun! $5/person.
For summer day camp opportunities, Guidestone Colorado’s Farmhands Program offers single and multi-day experiential pioneer and ranching programs for children ages 5 and up. Registration is now open and scholarships are available. For more information on these programs and to register, visit www.GuidestoneColorado.org.
Through September, the Hutchinson Homestead Visitor Center is now open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-2pm, with guided tours of the historic buildings at 11am and 1pm. The Visitor Center provides a comprehensive introduction of the site through interpretive signage, displays and a welcome video, followed by a guided tour with a knowledgeable HH&LC tour guide that provides a unique opportunity to go inside the historic Ranch House, outbuildings, corrals and farm yard. Walk in the footsteps of those that have lived and worked on this homestead, and see first-hand what life was like on a homestead and working ranch over 140 years ago. Come out for a visit, and bring visiting guests!
Also new this year, host a birthday party for your lil’ cowhand or pioneer! The homestead buildings and surrounding ranchland provide a rustic backdrop where the birthday boy or girl and friends can travel back in time to Colorado in the late 1800s. An HH&LC guide leads children through their three chosen activities and parents are encouraged to join in the fun!
Volunteers are at the heart of the homestead's tours, events and programming. Volunteer positions include being a site Tour Guide, Visitor Center Docent, Education Program Assistant and more! If you would enjoy sharing an incredible piece of Chaffee County history with visitors, or would like to support the HH&LC, please join us!
The HH&LC is operated by Guidestone Colorado with the vision of bridging our past to the future of agriculture in the Upper Arkansas River Valley, and is a partnership between Guidestone Colorado, the Hutchinson Family and the Town of Poncha Springs.