Monday, February 25, 2019

The Hiwan Homestead Museum


Hiwan Homestead Museum, located in Evergreen, Colorado, is a magnificent, 25-room log lodge, built between 1880 and 1942, and includes three other original buildingswhich are now used as a museum and exhibit space.


I visited Hiwan Homestead Museum on different occasions during last summer, and especially enjoyed the excellent docent tour when I went with a group.  

Hiwan Homestead was a mountain retreat for Mary Neosho Williams, a Civil War widow, and her daughter Josepha in the 1890s. They were among the aristocratic society of Denver who camped at Evergreen. They acquired a simple log structure and hired John “Jock” Spence, a Scottish carpenter, to convert it into a summer cottage, and over the years added on to the initial structure. The property was named Camp Neosho after Mrs. Williams’ middle name.


Overnight guests of Mary Neosho Williams would stay in tents, comfortably equipped with wood floors, stoves, and double canvas walls.  In 1889, Josepha graduated from Gross Medical School in Denver and became one of Colorado’s first women doctors. Seven years later, Josepha married Canon Charles Winfred Douglas, an Episcopal clergyman who achieved world acclaim for his musical work.


The Williams/Douglas families would hold lavish parties at their mountain retreat and one of their famous guests who stayed at Camp Neosho in 1931was the poet Robert Frost.


Josepha Douglas died in 1938 and the house was sold to Tulsa oilman, Darst Buchanan. It grew to 15,000 acres over the years. His wife renamed the land Hiwan Ranch. Buchanan’s Hiwan Hereford cattle were known throughout the country and won many stock show prizes. Six generations of notable families lived in this rustic mountain lodge before it was developed as a museum by Jefferson County Open Space in 1974.


Many of the restored rooms in the Hiwan Homestead are furnished with the original residents' belongings, including a collection of southwestern Indian artifacts.


Canon Charles Winfred Douglas, whose portrait hangs on one of the fireplaces in Hiwan Homestead, was largely responsible for bringing plainsong, the ancient music of liturgical worship, into general use, and with it the full choral service in Episcopal worship.


One of my favorite rooms in the Hiwas Homestead was the kitchen, which was frozen in time circa the 1930s


There were so many wonderful artifacts to look at in the kitchen, including a wonderful vintage cookbook collection...



...and vintage spice and condiment containers. 


Schoolchildren often tour Hiwan House to learn about the early days of Colorado, and they make pioneer style journey cakes in the kitchen.



One of the visits I made to Hiwan Homestead Museum was to see an exhibit going on at the time about Chief Colorow, a Native American who was active in the area where I now live.  I've blogged more about him, and the red rock front range cave he liked to use as a shelter, on this blog post.


It was a wonderful exhibit of both photographs and artifacts of the Utes and early settlers in Colorado.


The grounds of Hiwan Homestead Museum are much smaller now than when it was a functioning ranch but are beautifully maintained.




Two of the beautiful sculptures on display on the grounds.




Above is a short video about Hiwan Homestead from the Jefferson County website.  

I hope you enjoyed learning more about this wonderful piece of old Colorado history preserved for all time.

The Hiwan Homestead is located at:
28473 Meadow Drive
Evergreen, CO 80439

Admission is free

 For large group tours contact the museum at 720-497-7650 
Museum Hours: Tuesday – Friday: Noon - 4:00 pm Saturday & Sunday: Noon – 4:30 pm

You can also find me on 


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32 comments:

Lydia C. Lee said...

I love the pantry shelves!

Joanne said...

That looks like a really interesting museum! I love the kitchen with all those old tins; reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen.

ellen b. said...

What a fascinating place. Love the kitchen! Hope you are having a good week.

William Kendall said...

The architecture and grounds are marvelous. Wonderful shots!

carol l mckenna said...

Fascinating place and magnificent photos! You do go to wonderful places. ^_^

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How interesting! And I love those old books on the shelf with the green mugs. I have one of those mugs that was my Daddy's! Thanks for coming over and giving me some encouraging words! I want my old Lavender Dreams back and hope they will restore it soon! Hugs, Diane

Angie said...

Pat - as an owner of a log home, I can fully appreciate the maintenance required to keep a log structure looking its best. This lodge has clearly been well loved and preserved! I was struck by the interesting shape and large size of the chimney stack! The sculpture of the foreman is superb, especially with the duster flowing out behind him. Cool! Thanks for sharing this shining example of Colorado history with Mosaic Monday!

Powell River Books said...

I love vintage kitchen things. I have some spice containers like the ones in the picture from my mom. And old kitchen implements from my grandmother. Wish I had a nice place to display them. - Margy

Lady Fi said...

What a gorgeous house.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, wonderful tour of the homestead and museum. I love the statues too. I would love to look at those old cookbooks. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing your visit. Have a happy day and a great week ahead.

Jackie McGuinness said...

This is my kind of place to visit. The sculptures! And that kitchen, I would be happy poking around there.

Vee said...

I am curious about Mrs. Williams’ middle name Neosho. Beautiful spot. Like you, I could spend a long time in that kitchen. That stove is wonderful. The sculpture “The Foreman” is fabulous.

Michelle said...

This is a wonderful spot of history and nice that it is used for teaching. I am in love with that stove and let's be real, the whole kitchen.

Sandi Magle said...

I really enjoyed your story and the video of this beautiful retreat. I love old homes and history and this is on my must see list! Thank you

Fun60 said...

I enjoyed this post and would loved to have wandered around the kitchen.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I love historic homes and this place is fascinating!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

It looks so magical and comforting. That's great they turned the ranch into a museum. If I ever make it to that area, I'm going to stop in and see the museum. Thanks for a wonderful post.

handmade by amalia said...

A fascinating place, I admire both the history and the craftsmanship that went into creating it. I could spend a very happy afternoon browsing through those cookbooks, what a treasure.
Amalia
xo

Rambling Woods said...

This is a great post and I am sure took great time to put together..I am trying to learn more about the native americans who were here before we took the land...Michelle

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I loved all of this Pat and bookmarked it to 'next Colorado visit'...... every time we get to tour any historic home from any state or any era, it is always the kitchen that fascinates me most. They made this one look so authentic -- and obviously it really could function (and does, for the kids) -- have to admit that those red square spice cans were a fixture in my mother's kitchen when I was a child. (And some of them were still there when we helped them move to their senior living place -- LOL __ don't think they were very spicy by then!)

betty-NZ said...

Your wonderful post shows off this lovely place so well. That kitchen is just to die for, wow!! I love that kids get a taste of that era of cooking.

Jeanna said...

Hi Pat, couldn't find your link but let me know where I can. I think the kitchen would be my favorite room too and I'd spend some time looking over those cookbooks.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I have never heard of this but it is now on my bucket list if I ever make it back to Evergreen. What a wonderful and historic place.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I love that kitchen and with wonderful collections that are displayed there.

CHERI said...

What an interesting place! If I ever get to CO I want to visit there. Love that stove, and many of the things in the kitchen remind me of my childhood and things I remember seeing in my grandmothers' kitchens. Thanks for sharing and giving so many interesting details.

Jeanie said...

This is fascinating and now I'm plugging the address into google to see if it is anywhere near Boulder or CSprings where I have tentative plans to visit this spring. This is my kind of museum. In fact, it's my kind of house -- I could move in as is! The kitchen is fascinating -- love the selection of old cookbooks and all the wonderful packaging from days gone by. And that fireplace and the Indian rugs. Fabulous. Thanks for sharing this.

TheChieftess said...

Looks like an interesting museum!

Little Wandering Wren said...

This would be my sort of day out - loved exploring this wonderful museum through your eyes today. Thank you Pat!
Wren x

betty-NZ said...

I commented earlier in the week but just wanted to pop back and say thank you very much for linking up at My Corner of the World!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Looks like a very interesting place to visit! Thank you Pat for linking up with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty 35! Shared x 3 ♥

Kaycee said...

What a great place to visit! Thank you for sharing! We've been looking for road trip stops in your part of the world! Will be putting this on my list! #OMHGWW

Lowcarb team member said...

This looks a very interesting museum …
Thanks for your words and photographs.

All the best Jan