In the “Glen” in Palmer Lake, Colorado

Guest Post by Ken James

Palmer Lake, Colorado is unique. A spring fed lake, it sits on low spot of Palmer Divide between Metro Denver and bustling Colorado Springs. Its waters uniquely drain both North and South. To the North, into the Platte River, route of the Oregon Trail, to the South into the Arkansas River route of the Sante Fe Trail. This little mountain lake links the two most famous historical trails of U.S. History. In the late 1800s when Civilization caught up with the west. Culture came on its coat tails. One of the cultural things folks did was retreat to Palmer Lake for it’s Chatuaqua Festival, a kind of celebration of Arts, Music, and just a slow down from bustle of both Denver and Colorado Springs. Enterprising craftsmen recognized this as opportunity to provide summer housing vs. canvas camping. In addition to pavilions for all to gather in they built cute efficient tiny houses for folks to enjoy their Mountain retreat. The area to immediate south of Palmer Lake is where these Tiny Houses were perched on ascending hillsides at the very edge of Rocky Mountains. They called the area “The Glen,” probably a tribute to romantic Scotland.

My tiny house was constructed in 1924 late in this Chatauqua phenomena. It is one of four within 50 ft., with identical primary dimensions, 17 1/2 ft. by 20 ft. Each of the four has sprouted unique additions. Mine has rooms added to the narrow side of central core. To the North my Library and craft shop were added, measuring 13 1/2 ft. by 6 1/2 ft. To the South end, my Bedroom was added, measuring 17 ft. by 8 ft. with one end a closet. Ceilings in central core area are 9 ft so there is illusion of spaciousness instead of confinement. This also provides opportunities for vertical storage as in bathroom already. Plan a chair rail type fixture at 8ft. to display my “hat” collection from coat hooks with cross shelves in corners for “sombreros” and other glorys of haberdashery. My herd of buffalos led by Buford and Betty (White of course) are feeling at home on the range. I look forward to fitting myself into this niche of time and space.

A lifelong passion for history has led me to this destination. I’m comfortable making this smaller footprint. Tiny houses offer unique opportunities to interact with our surroundings. The unique surroundings of Palmer Lake,Colorado have hosted that interaction for over a century. Its fitting that my old “Tiny” house is on the cutting edge of this efficiency and quality of life vs. quantity of space.

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Bob H - January 6, 2012 Reply

Amazing tiny house. The inside looks great and its on a piece of land. Would love to see more homes like this one.

Very refreshing not to see another shed built on a trailer.

Engineer Guy - January 6, 2012 Reply

There is a Chautauqua right up against the Foothills of the Rockies in Boulder CO. Interested folks should put it on their ‘Bucket List’ to tour sometime for ideas. The Cottages are ‘Old School’, and the real deal. See various size Cottages at the bottom of this Webpage. Good Music during the Summer in the Hall, too.

    alice h - January 6, 2012 Reply

    OK, that’s weird. I’ve heard of Chautauquas before but never about the one in Boulder and 5 minutes after reading about it here it pops up in a book I’m reading. Woo woo! Now I really have to go there!

      Engineer Guy - January 7, 2012 Reply

      The Posts here re: Small House Communities got me thinking about Chautauqua. I went to a Party at one decades ago, and it was a very kewl lil place.

      Before I designed our Solar Home, I got a CD ROM of >1,100 pictures of Arts & Crafts Houses for Design inspiration. In a like manner, the authentic details of the Chautauqua Houses will get your juices going.

      In case you didn’t see it, download a Map here:

      This Chautauqua is right up against a huge Open Space area, and the Flatirons; unique, uplift Mountains. See them in various Webcams here:

        Benjamin - January 7, 2012 Reply

        What’s the source and price of that CD ROM of >1,100 pictures of Arts & Crafts Houses? Does it show interiors and furniture too?

          Engineer Guy - January 7, 2012 Reply

          I’ll have to root around and find it. Yes, it had pix of Interiors and Woodwork details. I plan to recycle a few ideas from it when doing our surround for a Fireplace. We brought back some accent Tiles from Scotland to incorporate. The House design started ~10 years ago this Spring, so the CD dates back that far. I’ll try to post all the CD details in ~24 hours from now.

          Joe3 - January 8, 2012 Reply

          I’d be interesrted knowing about the CD also, Thanks for taking the time to look for it.

Sarah - January 6, 2012 Reply

This is great! I live in Colorado Springs, and with how large and expansive the ‘burbs are around here, it’s wonderful to see a community of small homes as close as Palmer Lake. 🙂

Charlie - January 8, 2012 Reply

Amen to what Bob H. said. I checked out the site and looked at the efficiencies, 1, 2 & 3 bedroom cottages. I would like to see more small (not necessarily tiny) houses like this. I love the old early 20th century style with their screen porches. That’s one thing a lot of tiny houses seem to lack, a good size porch running along the long side of the house not just small gable stoops. Right now the largest group in the American population pool is getting just a little bid old to climb a ladder and sleep in a loft. On the other hand, many of us would be interested in downsizing or building a economical weekend place.

Engineer Guy - January 8, 2012 Reply

The ‘Bungalows’ CD was from Keister Photos. Look at ‘Galleries’ for Bungalows:

http://www.douglaskeister dot com/

I can recreate about anything, vs. imagining it. So, being able to ‘study’ details on a Fireplace Mantle, for example, was invaluable. I ordered ‘Raised Heel’ Trusses so that there’s a over a Foot of vertical space over the Exterior Walls. This allows super-Insulation to extend to the outside of the Wall, ensuring consistent Insulation values.

I cut out the extended Truss ends, which are also beveled, and set square Rain Gutters in those cut outs. This is an idea derived from looking at beveled end Roof Joists in person, off of this CD.

Of course, the Pasadena Gamble House is the ultimate. We studied it in College. IMO, especially in a small volume, elegant execution draws the Eye to beautiful details.

http://www.gamblehouse dot org/

Engineer Guy - January 8, 2012 Reply

Corrected Link, since the one above didn’t ‘take’ correctly:

manzur alam - January 15, 2012 Reply

what a amazing tiny house blog!i like this side so much ….just keep it up…thank you

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