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New families staking a claim

With a rich history of homesteading on the eastern plains of El Paso County in the early 1900s, the Edwards family hopes to share that heritage with others seeking the peace of country life, with close proximity to city luxuries.Members of the Edwards family are selling parcels of their property, located within the Drennan community, for the Cottonwood Creek Estates Development, said Harley Edwards. Families flocked to the Drennan community after El Paso County released government land to homesteaders in the early 1900s, he said. Forging a new path in the quiet country, while living with the amenities offered in nearby Colorado Springs, was the appeal of the early community.Edwards, the grandson of Fred and Minnie Edwards, who homesteaded to the Drennan community around 1915, said the ranch has been in his family for three generations. He has lived in the area for 62 years and said the ranch once spanned about 9,500 acres. It’s about 3,000 acres today.During the homesteading of the Drennan community, farming and ranching prevailed as the families’ livelihood. The Edwards family used their land for ranching. The homesteading families introduced telephone service, mail service and schools to the area. Edwards said families in the Drennan community still have neighborly get-togethers and take care of the old school.”What attracted people to the area are the cottonwood trees and the sandstone layer under the trees, which spans to the creek and provides running water,” he said. Re/Max Connections Inc. Realtor Amanda Vignery said many factors could draw country and city folk alike to Cottonwood Creek Estates. The lots, two miles east of Curtis Road and south of Highway 94, start at $79,900. The 14 lots that are currently available are all five acres, and up to two horses are allowed on each lot. Massive cottonwood trees, rolling hills and views of Pikes Peak to the Spanish Peaks of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range abound.More lots will be available in the future, she said.”This is the best price you are going to find in a covenant-controlled community,” Vignery said. “Because of its proximity to Schriever and Peterson Air Force bases, military personnel might also find the development appealing.”Park Ridge and Davis Ranches are the other subdivisions near Cottonwood Creek Estates.Rose Edwards, Harley’s wife, said the abundance of vegetation, animals and birds are also a draw for many people.She said she and her husband decided to subdivide their land along with Harley’s brother, Les, and sister-in-law Jan, who also own acreage at Edwards ranch.”We have been in the business of home designing, building, decorating and property investment for many years,” Rose Edwards said.The horse and buggies used for transportation in the Drennan community during the early 20th century are now obsolete, but land homesteaded by the Edwards family is ready for new families to stake their claim.

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