A Ruggedly Beautiful Amenity with a Touch of History

One of the features of our outdoor wedding venue that gets the most attention and compliments from wedding guests and couples is the chapel and rugged cross where we actually hold our rustic Colorado wedding ceremonies. It’s beautiful, completely unique, and perfectly situated to frame a breathtaking view of the central front range and the local buttes, as you and your loved one tie the knot.

But the uniqueness of our cross and arch are more than just skin deep. As we discovered in talking with David Channin, one of the owners of the reclaimed lumber company we worked with to design and create this one-of-a-kind outdoor chapel, there’s a pretty fantastic story behind the cross and wedding arch as well.

Our Little Outdoor Chapel Represents a Piece of Colorado’s Heritage

The wood for our outdoor wedding venue was reclaimed from a cabin owned by one of our state’s most distinguished writers. We uncovered this little nugget of history when we hired David’s company, Story Barns to help us design and build a rustic, outdoor cross and wedding arch where couples could hold ceremonies at our ranch.

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The Writer

Thomas Hornsby was a Denver-based journalist, publisher, and poet. He served as Colorado’s poet laureate from 1979 through 1988, and wrote extensively for the Rocky Mountain Herald. Hornsby’s day job was in public relations, and he was a member of the Denver Press Club.

Hornsby’s work appeared over the decades in “Poetry Magazine,” “The Atlantic Monthly,” “Harper’s,” “The Rocky Mountain News,” and other local and national newspapers and magazines. He wrote extensively about Colorado’s people and beauty, namechecking and describing Leadville, Denver, and other local towns and landmarks. His work was so well-regarded that Carl Sandberg called him “the Poet of the Rockies.” Excerpts from his poems even appear on murals in Colorado’s Capitol Building.

In the 1930s, Hornsby came into possession of a cabin outside of Bailey Colorado. It was here that he wrote some of his most enduring pieces, including the poem “Two Rivers,” which graces a plaque on Shoemaker Plaza in Confluence Park, marking the spot where Denver was founded.


The Cabin

The cabin was built in the 1890s. It isn’t clear how it came to be in Hornsby’s possession, but he and his family and friends worked and played there from at least the 30s through the late 50s. The cabin was one of a small compound of five cabins, none of which have been occupied regularly.

The current landowners were concerned that the cabins might have become a fire hazard, so they reached out to Story Barns through a mutual acquaintance. They knew by reputation that David and his guys had the knowledge and expertise to take the cabins down safely, and that the wood would be repurposed into something special.

They were so right!

While reclaiming the cabin, David was able to date the building when they discovered newspaper clippings (which were used as wall insulation at the time) dated 1897. They also discovered a time capsule, which the cabin builders had placed in a corner, and around which they had constructed a bench.

The capsule contained an antique manual typewriter and a treasure trove of magazines from the 30s and 40s – when Hornsby Ferril worked there – including several issues each of Time, Life, and Newsweek, magazines. The magazines were in great condition because they had not been exposed to the elements.


The Rustic Outdoor Chapel

David brought the wood from the cabin to Snow Creek Larkspur when Michelle asked him to create a unique, and rustic outdoor wedding venue that would showcase our property’s stunning views. Story Barns had built a door and a table for Michelle, and they had built a great rapport based on mutual interests and shared faith.

Michelle was looking for a rustic and unique outdoor chapel; David is dedicated to preserving Colorado history one board at a time by reusing reclaimed lumber in interesting, beautiful, and meaningful ways.

It was a match made in Heaven.


Our outdoor chapel is so special to our family – we know it will be special to yours too.

Knowing that there’s so much interesting history behind the materials – and that we’re helping to preserve it – makes our cross and arch even more special to us than it would be otherwise. Since we began hosting weddings at our beautiful property, the outdoor chapel has become a favorite spot, not just for the ceremonies, but for photographs, stargazing, and quiet contemplation.

But nothing makes us happier than when we see a happy couple take this rugged beauty, apply their own creativity, and run with it! The outdoor chapel is as versatile as it is lovely, looking equally stunning hung with lights and floral arrangements, or draped in tulle.

We can’t wait to see how you style it.

Join us at Colorado’s most unique outdoor wedding venue.
Book by November 30th and receive $100 off your venue rental fee!


To visit the farm, arrange a tour, or for more information regarding our Traditional Wedding venue and services, call Matt at 303-229-9382 or email weddings@snowcreeklarkspur.com.


In discussing this article with David, he spoke with us about The National Center for Craftsmanship, a non-profit dedicated to making sure that the knowledge, skills and abilities of our community’s finest craftspeople in the building trades is passed on to future generations. Story Barns worked with the NCC to build housing for women from shelters, in the process teaching those women a skilled trade with which to rebuild their own lives.

It’s a great organization, so please visit their website for more information, to volunteer, or to donate.