On Saturday, June 14, the Cherokee Castle & Ranch Foundation will host Waterloo, a birthday celebration honoring Tweet Kimball, the last owner of Cherokee Castle & Ranch and developer of the Cherokee Castle & Ranch Foundation, on what it would have been her hundredth birthday. At the event, attendees will party like it's 1924 -- yes, Gatsby-era attire is requested -- while enjoying live music by the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, performances by aerialists and acrobats, and all the delights of one of Colorado's most unusual landmarks.
The 3,400-acre Cherokee Ranch in Sedalia, with a home modeled after a Scottish castle, was purchased in 1954 by Tweet Kimball's first husband (she had four), and she lived there until her death in 1999. "Her first husband bought her this place because he said there wasn't room on the same side of the Mississippi for both of them," explains Micki Clark, CEO of the Cherokee Castle & Ranch. "So he stayed east of the Mississippi and she got this place west of the Mississippi and lived here happily without him."
In 1966, Kimball created the Cherokee Castle & Ranch Foundation and donated the land around her home to help preserve Colorado's only petrified forest, the wildlife on the land and also several historic buildings, including the circa-1920 castle. After she died, the foundation took over all the property -- but carried on many of Kimball's traditions.
"Tweet would always have birthday parties on her birthday, which happens to coincide with the Battle of Waterloo," Clark says. And those birthday parties were legendary, with a very exclusive guest list.
But this year, Cherokee Castle's keepers wanted to extend the invitation to anyone who wanted to pay tribute to this fascinating woman. "It's the first time we ever opened a party to the public," says Clark. "We had never done this before. There had always been invited guests, so we are kind of excited to show people what a special place this it."
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The party will give attendees a chance to look at Kimball's art collection as well as bid on Cherokee memorabilia at a silent auction. The foundation hopes to turn it into an annual fundraiser. "It's going to be a spectacular event," Clark says. "We will see all the elk come out and then the sunset. The view from here is all the way from Pikes Peak to Devil's Head, so it's a hundred miles of the Front Range and you can see it all from this spot. "
The party will run from 6 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 14. Tickets are $60 or $100 for VIP, which includes a castle tour. For more information, go to cherokeeranch.org or call 303-688-4600