Recently second grade students attending Highlands Ranch elementary schools began learning Highlands Ranch history, with assistance from the Highlands Ranch Historical Society. Beginning 68 million years ago with dinosaur neighbors, children have an opportunity to learn about the development of their community.

The highlight for the children is learning to be a historian, which one student described as “someone so old they are history”. The children examine five antiques, trying to determine their use. The answers are creative. When examining a wooden butter churn, the ideas ranged from “wine press”,  to “ where bees make honey “. A wire egg basket, shaped like a chicken, was determined to be a “froot basket”, or possibly a “basket you put into a lake to catch fish”. The most thoughtful idea was ‘something you drop eggs in, then the shell breaks, and the egg part falls thru into the pan to cook it, but the shell stays in the basket”.

Unfortunately, the pioneers have been occasionally misidentified as “pilgrims “; a picture of Samuel Allen Long identified as Abraham Lincoln; and one entire classroom was convinced Historical Society members lived in the Highlands Ranch mansion.

The road to the discovery, and the correct identification of the antique results in an awareness of the hurdles of the past, and the many achievements which have lead to Highlands Ranch as we know it today. The goal is to reach every second grade student during the first half of the school year.

The current school program was developed by HR Historical Society VP (recently retired) Paul McKeag, in conjunction with local elementary school teachers.  In 2022 Paul and his wife Lois reached 14 classes and 322 students.  In 2023 HRHS Board Member Mary Beth Watkins and her able Wrangler Volunteer husband Michael reached 7 classes and 147 students.   Each student was also gifted with a copy of the Historical Society Coloring Book “Highlands Ranch–Over 100 Years in the Making” .

It is the goal of the Historical Society to eventually  reach ALL second grade students, so we welcome inquiries from parents and teachers.  Please contact Mary Beth for more info at  According to Teresa Henley from Trailblazer Elementary “Thank you again for coming to Trailblazer! We really enjoyed your presentation!”

So ask yourself Am I smarter than a second grader???   Identify these implements from days gone by to find out!