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.