COBWEB CORNERS: A great house
By Mel McFarland
A while back I talked about some of the houses around. I have even heard from residents in some twins! Some have some interesting similarities still today inside, but I want to talk about one of my favorite old houses. I think I have a dozen old houses that I would rate as favorites, Over the years growing up I lived near all of these and have never been inside any of them.
There is a park on Walnut street, at Mesa road, just north of Bristol School. When I was a student at "old" Bristol, there was a grand old house in the middle of it. Thirty years ago they moved it. The Westside is a great place for it, but it is not often seen, except by the neighbors!
This old house was actually one of many built by W.S. Stratton, before he made millions in Cripple Creek. It is one of a few that have survived. This house, often called the Gillette House, had a few problems. It was built without bathrooms or much for closets. This was the standard in 1882. It also did not include plumbing or electricity. These were added later. When the house was moved, a spot was found where it had a good view toward the mountains, something it did not have before. The people who bought it had a real interest in its history, and I do not know who owns it now, maybe the same ones! I am not much for bouncing up to someone's front door and announcing myself, so we will skip that part.
It is, though, a fine looking house. I had not seen it move, but I happened to stumble across it in the 1970s and was happy to see it in a nice neighborhood. Then I forgot all about it until a few people talked to me recently about my house story. So I went to see it again. It still looks grand. Back in the mid 1970s, it looked a bit out of place. It still does, but not so much. Maybe it has rubbed off a bit of its style to the neighborhood, because it has lost none. I think, even with some of the changes, Stratton would recognize it as one of his.
If you are curious, go north of Uintah Gardens, up on 18th street, and see if you can spot this distinctive bit of local history.
Another of my favorites is on 30th street, the Husted House. Maybe someday I will talk about this and tell you about some others.