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Who really saved the cabin? Dave Hughes makes case for Thayer Tutt

Before being moved permanently to Bancroft Park in 1961, the Garvin Cabin has been in many places since its original construction in the 2600 block of West Colorado Avenue in 1859. This photo shows its delivery to the Denver State Capitol in 1959 for the Rush to the Rockies Centennial.
Courtesy of Don Ellis
       Who saved Old Colorado City's historic cabin in the late 1920s - Spencer Penrose? Thayer Tutt? Both? The two men were among Colorado Springs' most prominent business leaders in the 20th century, and Tutt's father Charles was a long-time Penrose business partner.
       Local historian Mel McFarland's recent Cobweb Corners column in the Westside Pioneer, based on newspaper accounts from 1927, credits Penrose with relocating the cabin to avoid a potential wrecking ball. See Cobweb Corners column posted March 5, 2015.
       But Thayer Tutt is cited in an article by another local historian, Dave Hughes, in the current West Word (the publication of the Old Colorado City Historical Society).
       Hughes said his information came from Tutt himself. “There's no question what Thayer Tutt told me - he bought the damn cabin,” Hughes said. Thayer also told Hughes that his father Charles had once said the cabin was “the most important building in El Paso County,” Hughes said.
       Thayer Tutt clearly had an abiding interest in the building. According to Hughes, Thayer donated the cabin (to the then-Pikes Peak Historical Society, which in turn gave it to the city) in 1961, when it was permanently placed in Bancroft Park. In 1976, as Hughes recounts in his West Word piece, Tutt (through the El Pomar Foundation) paid to fix up the cabin.
       As for how the cabin was saved from demolition in 1927, Hughes allowed that the newspapers at that time might have written it was Penrose because of his ties to the Tutts and it can't be said with certainty that Penrose was not involved at all. Also, as McFarland's column reports, Thomas McLaren, the architect in charge of the move, "was under contract to Penrose and the Broadmoor Hotel."

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/10/15; Community: Old Colorado City History Center)

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