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Newsletter 2016


The History of the Druid Hills

by Diana Foraci

History of Druid Hills Florissant Colorado

Newsletter 2016-The Druid Hills was a beautiful pristine piece of land with rolling hills owned by two people, Ruby born in 1893 wife of Joseph (Fat’s) Floyd Carman (Carmen) born in 1890 that lived next to the huge rock formations on lots 11 and 12.  When J. Floyd Carmen passed “She retained a life estate with her cabin when she sold the property to Dad (Kenneth Barber} and his partners” the land was clearly untouched before roads like Obsidian ever existed, across the road now Obsidian Road is where Ruby planted hops for making, her beer.

Douglas Barber shared this about his family and Ruby ”I remember going with Dad to Ruby’s house and her making tea for us, and playing Judy Collins soulful-music as she wailed” the ballads out, our history reveals that Fat’s and Ruby had a potato farm across from their quaint little cabin.

Potato Farm

Years ago the irrigation lines were clearly visible in the soil south of the cabin where you could see the staggered layers to prevent soil erosion , where Brad and Melissa Spivey are building a new home and where Michael Gonzales resides, that is the very spot where their farm once was . Joseph Floyd worked at the Cripple Creek mine he must have been a strong man with conviction and his future looked bright, when he married Ruby in about 1918, they lived in his little cabin known, as “the bunkhouse, which was more prominent than it is now that he built in 1902”.

Before this was a subdivision, the owners of our land recorded on the 1940 Colorado Census; under place of birth or place as of 1937, Ruby Carmen and J. Floyd Carmen, wrote Kansas.  Some say Ruby was born in Ireland, I never found a record of birth or marriage in any databases, but they are listed as head of household and wife, as owning a farm according to the census, where J. Floyd Carmen was fifty and Ruby E. Carmen was forty-eight.

Their home was listed to be worth 300 dollars according to the census documentation, some say they owned over 700 acres and the boundaries are common property lines between Ruby’s lands and George Parr’s 700 acres north of them.  J. Floyd dug his well by hand, actually he ran into an underground spring located in their front yard, 70 or more years later Jack McWherter built a well stand (rock wall) which happened to be a short distance from where Ruby planted the hops.

Our Huge Rocks

Thanks to all the people that purchased Ruby’s land and cabins below those huge rocks that spent their time and money to refurbish the cabins so they were not condemned or torn down from neglect, saving our historic history in this subdivision.  After Ruby passed others bought the property, Todd Stedman acquired those cabins on the seven acres, his improvement and the value of the land increased when he drilled a deep well, and I met Todd and almost bought the seven acres with huge rock formations and the cabins for around 38,000.  Sheila Kyle sold to Mc Wherter where Jack McWherter harvested those hops to make beer as Ruby did, “they found old newspapers in the walls dated 1917 about WWI, but they disintegrated once they extracted them”.

Then Mc Wherter sold to Mary Brinson, and she sold to Bobby and Diane Walker where they bring their Mules/Hinny for the summer, to clarify a mule is a male donkey, a jack and a female horse. A mare and a Hinny is an equine hybrid offspring of a male horse, a stallion, and a female donkey, a jenny.  I am going to miss those mules because in August of this year Walker sold to David Rusterholtz who owns one property with multiple horses across the road. In The dictionary  A hinny is a domestic equine hybrid, the offspring of a male horse (a stallion) and a female donkey (a jenny). It is the reciprocal cross to the more common mule, which is the product of a male donkey (a jack) and a female horse (a mare).


A hinny is a domestic equine hybrid, the offspring of a male horse (a stallion) and a female donkey (a jenny). It is the reciprocal cross to the more common mule, which is the product of a male donkey (a jack) and a female horse (a mare).

What makes the Druid Hills unique is that people here can own horses and reside on the same property as long as they keep only one horse per acre, what the county allows and they are kept 200 or 250 feet from any well to prevent contamination of nitrates getting into the aquifer of our subdivision.  Subsequently, that happened to Barry Ottley water that tested to be high in nitrates which is difficult to alleviate once in the aquifer system within our subdivision.

One of our developers

The developer Kenneth Barber of our subdivision, son Douglas H. Barber had this to say about the Druid Hills that “has a special place in my heart and memory, dad chose Druid Hills for the community name because she (Ruby) thought the druids were heathens.  Dad explained to her that the druids were the professional, educated people among the Celtic folk; Dad liked the bards and poets of that group.  The Druids believed in the fundamentally spiritual nature of life, as did my father, he always loved being in the mountains and the forests, and felt spiritually closer to God there (I am the same way). 

Ruby loved the land and she and my Dad shared a love of the land,” which is a valuable attribute in his profession as a land developer, whereas Ruby wrote poems some say which may have been inspired by the place that she loved.  Barber’s sons installed all the wooden entrance signs, him and his brother staked all the corner lots they went out in a canoe when the lake was losing water they distributed bentonite clay to seal the bottom. They stocked the lake with fish that supplied the beavers with food and all the residents could fish in our subdivision, not that long ago.

My first experience

When I moved to the Druid Hills in 1982, we had a lake that residents used for ice-skating on Tract A, and someone said Carol Quick was a well-known ice skater that lived in our subdivision.  The streams gradually developed into seven ponds on Tract B that presented the most beautiful scenic realm one could encounter in this subdivision of natural development courtesy of the beavers and nature.  Unfortunately, the beavers that resided on Tract B a land protected by the State of Agriculture as wet lands, met their demise when humans trapped, poisoned and shot them until some say people who lived in this subdivision eventually killed all of them off.

As a result, we eventually lost our ponds maintained by the beavers on Tract B that was a natural habitat for not only the beavers but Red-winged blackbirds, Mountain bluebirds, Mallard ducks, Canadian geese, a place meant for all to enjoy and brought the land value up in this subdivision known as the Druid Hills.

Ruby & Floyd

J. Floyd Carmen died in 1960 and before Ruby died in 1975, she sold off some of the land to the developer of our subdivision Kenneth Barber now deceased that was the Druid Hills Company incorporated by Ken Barber and his partners.  Ruby’s sister-in-law  (Joseph’s sister) lived around the corner on land known as #10 Granite Hills Drive that David Kottensette now owns, she is buried at the Florissant Cemetery as is Joseph and Ruby Carmen, the cemetery is just south of us on Upper Twin Rock CR 421.  I donated an American Flag to the cemetery since the old one was tattered, must have been Ruby and Joseph speaking to me from the grave, at the time I did not know Ruby and J. Floyd Carmen were buried there or they once owned all the land here in the Druid Hills, what a coincidence.

When someone destroyed the area where Ruby planted her hops, they destroyed part of our heritage in this subdivision that is a sad day in history if you ask me.  In memory of Ruby and Joseph Carmen thank you, for all that you have done for us in our simple beginnings.

Ruby stayed on in this subdivision after her husband died in 1960 she walked the small pathway to visit her husband at the Florissant Cemetery often and managed to take care of those hops until she died in 1975.  Eight years before I came to live in the Druid Hills Subdivision.

Author of this Story

I am Diana Foraci, Declarant of the Druid Hills Homeowners Association.  Special Thanks to all the people that contributed in supplying the information about the History of the Druid Hills in this subdivision; they are, Douglas Barber, Betty Burns (friends with Ruby) and her son Joe Burns that lived on Costello Street where Tiger Timber once was, Mrs. Watson (friends with Ruby) north of where Ruby and Joseph lived and to Jack and Jineen McWherter (that now live on the property once owned by Mrs. Watson).


I am Diana Foraci proud member of the Druid Hills and Declarant of the Druid Hills Homeowners Association; I was born in San Francisco, California to a family of Sicilian decent that realized the American Dream was in their future with significant potential for success and the pursuit of happiness.  My family was wealthy in their own right; Father -Vincent Foraci was a businessperson that co-owned a bar with my grandfather Pete on Mission Street in San Francisco called the Playboy Club later named the Squeeze Inn. Grandfather- Pete Foraci a painter in the Painters Union where I have followed his example.  My dad owned a car dealership, and many properties and homes around the Bay area, and Palo Alto and his wife Maxine, dad was owner of the Pittsburgh Steel Mill.


As for myself, I came to the Druid Hills in 1982 along with Martin D. Gauley and later my partner and I bought land here in 1985 from a United States Congressman Dino Lorenzini who owned numerous lots here located across the street from me, when there were only eleven residential homes built in this subdivision.

I have been a professional house painter and restored Queen Ann and Victorian Homes in Portland Oregon for the past 30 years;  graduated at the University of Idaho with two degrees, double major in Microbiology & Zoology minor in Veterinary Science.  See myself as a proud American with my dreams fulfilled on the horizon; therefore, if you hear any gossip or name calling about me please keep in mind that we are all Americans treated with respect and dignity, entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These Human Rights have not been addressed in this subdivision for a long time and need to be, and if you feel as I do sign, the signature page found on this site will have to copy and paste, print and sign then send via email to me at : info@aboutdruidhillshoa.com

The picture is of me when I restored the front entrance sign in our subdivision, when I came home one year from school the sign was laying on the ground in pieces, and the back entrance sign fell apart one year as well that I repaired and put back up on the posts.


My neighbor of ten years moved here from North Carolina, Joan Simmons is a wonderful person and know one from this subdivision or any of her neighbors (except for me) has ever visited or talked to her.  Years ago, I use to welcome neighbors in this subdivision with a jar of my families spaghetti sauce when there was just a few of us living here.

When my present neighbors Brian & Adele Walker were building their dream home I graciously offered them coffee when needed. Unfortunately no friendship ever developed.  I kept a watchful eye on neighbor Kubicek’s vacant lot before they were able to build on it, and at that point we had a cordial relationship at that time.

Unfortunately, the last two neighbors I just mentioned are and have been on the POA board for years, they have expressed their hate written and verbally against others and me in this subdivision.  Speaking from factual documentation given to me by the DA, I have on record a pile of complaints against me from Brian Walker and others that have been friends or connected to the POA using code enforcement for their malicious and groundless complaints.


My neighbors the Kubicek’s took me to court over my dogs and branded me with “owner of dangerous and vicious dogs” on the summons and in the newspaper.  After 10 months of pre-trails in 2001 both my dogs were found to be non-aggressive by an expert dog trainer and my one dog not guilty by the Judge Peters.  My other dog was a puppy at the time so he was not guilty also of the groundless offense that seemed a hate crime really against me and not my dogs.

The positive side is I did not get a criminal record from the whole experience, M. Kubicek wanted  both my dogs destroyed.  Thanks to all that sought out the truth, no harm came to my dogs.  The culprit turned out to be a coyote that probably had bitten the Kubicek dog, because a coyote killed someone’s Collie around that time in our subdivision.


To this day, I hear from my neighbors in the neighborhood rumors about my pure bred AKC Registered Husky has been labeled as a wolf. Come on POA enough already, get real, my Husky is not a danger to the neighborhood and the “assassination of my character”has gone on long enough.  You know who you are, I know who you are, your laughing at people behind their backs is childish and just plain mean, and nasty, get a life.

Take care of the land

For some reason this subdivision has been a dumping ground and vulnerable to theft, within the last couple of years I have noticed the land once owned by Ruby Carmen, someone has sprayed the road and the hops on Obsidian with an oily chemical to keep the dust down.  Later someone bulldozed the hops off into the brush where a spring runs east and west across the road from the cabin.

Subsequently, on or near by David Rusterholtz property hard to say since the markers are long gone someone dumped insulation, hope not asbestos and trash into the brush and spring where many animals drink and recently I’ve noticed trailers parked there, and free stuff in that area on Obsidian.  Please if you know who you are, have some respect and clean that mess up think of our environment and if you move out of the subdivision, the new owner will inherit what you left behind.





About DruidHillsHOA

I'm Diana Foraci, a long time resident of the Druid Hills located in Florissant Colorado. I'm the owner of this site, representing the Druid Hills HomeOwners Association which represents this community in Good Faith, with Honor and Integrity.

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