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  • Grant-Humphreys MansionGrant-Humphreys Mansion Denver, Colorado
    The Grant-Humphreys Mansion in Denver, Colorado is a neoclassical style mansion that was designed by Boal and Harnois, in 1902 for James Benton Grant after he left his one term as the governor of the state during 1883-1885. It has been the home of two families, the first being the Grants, who was best known for his part in the ore smelting industry, the first one being located in Leadville and the second in Denver, in which his Grant Smelting Company had the biggest stack in the nation and 3rd biggest in the world; just 2 miles from downtown. Grant's wife, Mary Matteson Goodell, was well known in the society of Denver, where she was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, as well as being instrumental in starting a house for destitute children. After James passed on in 1911, Mary would live in the house for another six years, and then sold it to Albert E. Humphreys. The mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. A. E. Humphreys is recalled as the "Wildcatter Deluxe" and the "King of the Wildcatters" since he had successfully found oil in Texas, Wyoming and Oklahoma. He is also remembered for this philanthropic endeavors that had been shared by his wife, Alice. They arrived in Denver in 1898 with two sons, Ira and Albert E. Jr. Ira married Lucille Pattison, and they lived with the older Humphreys in the mansion until they passed on. Ira was a mechanical genius, and A. E. was the manager of the family oil business. Both of them were intrigued with airplanes, and opened the first commercial airport in the city in 1918 in North Park Hill, ten years before the city's municipal airport that would later become Stapleton International Airport. In 1919, Ira Boyd "Bumps" Humphreys started the Curtiss-Humphreys Airplane Company, and in 1941, he invented the Humphreys Spiral Concentrator that was used a lot in the mining industry for the separating of minerals and heavy metals that exists in low grade ores. In 1969, they were both inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame that is located in the Colorado Aviation Historical Society's Heritage Hall at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver, Colorado. In 1976, the Colorado Historical Society gained the mansion at the bequest of the late Ira Boyd Humphreys that still had the original damask wall coverings that soon became deteriorated and had to be replaced.  The home is a 30 room Beaux-arts mansion with an eclectic mix of materials that have a brick facade, terra cotta balustrades, 20 foot columns and projecting balconies. 

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  • Four Mile House Historic ParkFour Mile House Historic Park Denver, Colorado
    Located on the banks of the Cherry Creek, four miles from downtown Denver, Colorado, the historic park sets on a 12 acre plot of land that contains the city's oldest standing structure with numerous pioneer exhibits, guided tours and special events that take visitors back to another time in the history of the city, state and country. The house was a wayside inn and stagecoach stop, the last to be exact on the trail west that traveled along the Cherokee Trail. The house was constructed in 1859 by the Brantner brothers who had decided to live in the region, but then sold the homestead the next year to Mary Cawker. Mary opened the house as a stage stop, with her two teenage sons, and then she also, sold the place to Levi and Mille Booth. The Booth family continued the business, offering fresh cool water to the parched travelers, as well as a home cooked meal, before they reentered the coach and headed to Denver. The Booths also started farming the land, so that when the railroad arrived in 1870, the majority of the stage business slowed down, while the farm grew to include 600 acres. Millie Booth, was one of the regions first female entrepreneurs, selling honey and butter to the locals; and at one period, the farm had enough beehives to produce four thousand pounds of honey in one year. They continued to live on the farm and work it until the 1940s. Then, in 1975, the city bought the house and 12 acres, making into a park called the Denver City Park. With help from local agencies that included the Park People and the Junior League, the house was restored to its former condition and opened for public viewing in 1978. The house and 12 acre site have become a welcome portal into the mile high city and the pioneer history of the west. It has been made a Denver Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are goats, horses and chickens located now on the farmstead, and you can learn about the craftsmanship of building barns and outbuildings that was so necessary back then. A horse drawn carriage will take you around the park, while you enjoy the beautiful weather and atmosphere.

January 11, 2011