© 2001 by Leona L. Gustafson
FORGOTTEN PAST OF ADAMS COUNTY, VOL. I
9190 Riverdale Road
History of Wolpert Mansion
David H. Wolpert was born in Ohio in 1883 [sic.]. As a young man he traveled to Iowa and Illinois for brief stays at both places. In 1859, he began moving west with the gold rush. He followed the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico, then back up towards Pikeís Peak (probably the Colorado Springs area). Included in a party of sixteen men, Wolpert then traveled to North Park, north of Denver, to the Fairplay-Breckenridge area seeking gold. While there, the party got involved with Indians and then separated.
When David Wolpert came to Denver, he built the Clayton block on Larimer Street In downtown Denver.
He followed the Platte River north nine miles, and, on a piece of land he patented in the late 1850ís, he built a house in 1864. David Wolpert acquired property on patent from the U.S. Government, September 1, 1869, and it was recorded January 21, 1870. His land totaled 145 acres on both the east and west sides of Riverdale Road. The land parcel is legally described as:
South one-half of NW one-fourth (except road) of the SW one-fourth (except parcels, roads, rivers, and Public Service right-of-way) of Section 19, T25, R67W.
The street address is 9190 Riverdale Road. David Wolpert was married, in 1864, to Catherine Henderson, of whose family the town of Henderson is named. They had a son, David, and two daughters, Lucille and Mary. One of the daughters and the son were deaf mutes.
Mr. Wolpert was a celebrated agriculturist in his life-time. The Wolperts lived in the mansion for
about fifty years. David Wolpert died October 21, 1909, and is buried at Riverside Cemetery. One brother, John Wolpert, who had settled in the same area, is buried at United Brethren Cemetery at Henderson.
The house is a mansion in a strict sense—in that it was a better house than that which most people were building in that time. Considering when it was built, and who built it, it would be one of the most interesting houses in Colorado.
There is a complete architectural history attached to the house. The house has been added on to over the years, however, the brick barn was built during the same period as the house.
There is a history in human interest rumors alone. It has been said that the mansion was a drover's inn for cowboys, a gambling den in the 1920ís, a house of prostitution, and a race-horse ranch. It is said one owner became drunk and lost the mansion in a card game, and there have also been rumors of murder occuring on the land. Because the house has somehow been involved with every aspect of Colorado History, ranging from the Indians to the hippies, it is of great historical significance.
One of the previous owners, the Faden Family, owned and leased the house for many years. The Eppinger family, who leased it from the Fadenís, reported one flood, and that was the only early disaster uncovered. Nothing was ruined during this flood.
A project has been started to restore the mansion as an American Victorian Mansion. The project is sponsored by the Adams County Historical Society and the Colorado Centennial-Bicentennial Commission. It is presently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This organization protects the mansion against any national discrepancies. It also allows for matching funds.
The Mansion is described as a nine-room two-story house. There is a red brick barn about one hundred
yards from the house. There are also two good wells on the property.
In May 1975, when the chicken house burned down, the fire department came and extinguished the fire and putin a report to county health authorities stating that the house was a fire hazard and a danger to the community. The health department ordered the owner to dismiss the tenants. When they moved, heavy vandalism started. The mansion is now in desperate need of help and restoration. What was once a beautiful mansion is now a dump. Though listed nationally as a historic property, thus far no organizations have provided for the restoration of the mansion, and, at any time, a local committee can tear it down.
Since the mansion has experienced much of Coloradoís history, it is our belief that to let the mansion decay, is to let a monument of our stateís history waste away to nothing.Transfer of Land
On Friday, November 28, 1975, at approximately 1:00 a.m., the Wolpert Mansion was burned to the ground. A complete era of Colorado History was lost with The Mansion.
We hope that the other historical monuments of this sort, representing Coloradoís History, will be protected so there will be something left to look back on.Acknowledgments
Dr. Hugo Rodeck
Mrs. Max Cundall
"Wolpert House" - Dr. Hugo Rodeck
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