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Mansions

What do these photos tell you about how rich peoples' mansions were like?

A Trinidad Mansion

This is a photo of the Bloom mansion in Trinidad. It was built in 1892 for Frank G. Bloom, who raised cattle on his ranches on the plains.

A Trinidad Mansion

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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Many of the wealthy men of Colorado built large and very expensive houses. These are called mansions. The three-story Bloom mansion was the largest house in Trinidad. It was built of brick and had a porch that extended around all four sides. The house has a French-style roof called a mansard roof. That means that it has a flat top and that the upper story has sloping sides.

The Briarhurst mansion

This large, two-story house was built for William Bell in Colorado Springs. He was one of the founders of the near-by resort town of Manitou Springs.

The Briarhurst Mansion

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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The wealthy people of Colorado built houses of stone as well as brick. The mansion in this photo was built of sandstone. Red sandstone was cut from quarries near Colorado Springs. These people also visited one another quite often.

Their Own Words

“The general round of life in the Springs is agreeable. The large leisure class, gathered from many parts of the world, makes it a practice to laugh and be gay, to ride or drive in the morning, to arrange luncheons and dinner-parties, picnics, teas, bicycle or plain, and receptions in the afternoon; and now and then dances in the evening. . . . The reason why Denver and Colorado Springs are such acceptable places to live in is easily explained. They are so new, and so recently settled by Eastern people of affluence that Eastern standards of life and manners still prevail.”

Source: Lewis Morris Iddings, “Life in the Altitudes,”  Scribner’s Magazine (February, 1896): 144, 151.

The Croke Mansion

This large three-story mansion was built in Denver in 1891. It was the home of Thomas M. Patterson, a United States senator from Colorado.

The Croke Mansion

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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The mansion in this photo was built by Bernard Croke. He was a schoolteacher who made a fortune investing in farmland and railroads. Senator Patterson bought the house in 1908. It is located at 430 East 11th Avenue.

Their Own Words

"Not long ago I had the pleasure of seeing the interior of the residence of one of the wealthiest men in Colorado. The finest part of the house was its ball room. It was illuminated by electric lights shining through stained glass. Large mirrors reflected all which passed in the room. There were quantities of carved wood, a polished inlaid floor, beautiful and handsome draperies, a balcony for the orchestra. An alcove with a cushioned seat where the dancers would rest or those who did not dance would watch those who did. . ."

Source: Henrietta Hitchcock Manuscripts, MSS#1344, Colorado Historical Society.

A Denver Mansion

This was another of Denver’s large stone mansions. It was built in 1890.

A Denver Mansion

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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The house in this photo was located at 1007 Pennsylvania Street, which once was a very fashionable neighborhood. The house no longer exists.

Their Own Words

“The traveler finds a city [i.e., Denver] that compares favorably with any in America, or even in Europe. The magnificent blocks of buildings of stone and brick, equipped with all modern improvements, the private residences of varied architecture, reproductions of French chateaux, surrounded by insurmountable stone walls or huge iron fences, villas of Italian Renaissance with their beautiful terraced gardens, great red brick colonial mansions with stately white pillars and white fences. Denver has rightly been named the ‘City of Homes.’"

Source: Mrs. Crawford Hill, “East vs. West,”  Harper’s Bazarre (May, 1910): 314.

The Orman Mansion

This large stone mansion was built in Pueblo for the James B. Orman family. He was governor of Colorado from 1901 to 1903.

The Orman Mansion

Photo: Colorado Historical Society

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The house in this photo was later owned by the Alva Adams family. Adams also served as governor of Colorado. It is located at 103 West Orman Avenue in Pueblo.