Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Good Fence

A good fence should last a long time.
I would say this one fits the bill. I am not exactly sure when this one was built, but I do know a lot about this property. So, if I have any history buffs among us...have a seat.
This little charmer was built by a saloon keeper in this little mining town in Colorado in 1891. It was sold in 1897 to a prominent western slope attorney...who met his demise. That is a story for another time. The third owner was Herbert G. Heath and his wife Louise Mayer Heath in 1914. He was the principal of the local school for the  thirty eight years. The house remains in the family today, and the local school is named for Mr. Heath.
Louise Mayer (1883-1979) the wife, was a local girl, that married Herbert Heath, the educator, in 1903. 
Louise and her sister Emma (1882-1973), above ,were hard working young women.

They helped their German immigrant father Herman Mayer on the family farm, that is now the Vicker's Ranch (in the distance). Herman did not like that the road, leading south out of town, went right through his pasture. So, he decided to physically relocate the road to the east... on the side of the mountain
Both young girls, along with their Mom, also named Emma, were expected to help.
 Emma Mayer (mother of Louise and Emma) later divorced Herman, and opened a boarding house on the top floors of the Hough Building, pictured above (today). Again, the young sisters were put to work, helping their mom with all of the boarding house chores,which included carting firewood, water and coal upstairs to the rooms...not to mention a lot of laundry. There happened to be a duel (gun fight) on this very corner in 1902, a bullet hole is still visible in the window frame. Young Louise Mayer had just hung out the clean sheets from the boarding house, and one of the wounded men ran down the alley getting blood all over her freshly laundered sheets. Sadly both local men died.
Emma Lowe Mayer (1853-1947) mother of the two girls moved into this cottage she built in 1902, when she retired from the boarding house. It was just across the street from the house that her son in law and daughter (The Heath's) would buy, pictured earlier. The daughters sold this house after their mother's death in 1948 to a family from Kansas City. Our small town of approximately 391 people is very proud of it's history and it is all kept alive by a very dedicated Historical Society.

* information for this post were copied in part from two books with the permission of Grant Houston.
Historic Homes of Lake City Colorado by Grant E. Houston
Memorable Cooks by Linda B. Iams
and Historical info from Grant Houston

Linking to: Good Fences


  1. Been here many times....near Red Mountain, right? Oh, the miseries and fear of going over the summit of Red Mountain Pass. My sister lives near Uncompahgre Forest now. Beautiful area. And lots of Colorado history.

  2. Kudos to the historical society for keeping this history alive.

  3. You sound like you are part of the Historical Society! The cottage and house are both charming.

  4. perfect tales of old west life! thanks for sharing these, history and all!

  5. very interesting post and well illustrated with photographs. Love the little cottage at the end.

  6. Love this history lesson. Beautiful scenery and wonderful fence.

  7. Such rich history there! That Victorian home is indeed a charmer. I enjoyed the stories very much, and the photos are superb. :)

  8. What an interesting history Janey, it read like a storybook. Well done!

  9. I love history and enjoyed reading your post. I could live in either house. I really like older homes.

  10. That's quite a history Janey.. always fascinating to hear about life in days gone by.