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Cabin and Local History

In the 1870s Andrew Andreason and his bride Guinevere Ocilla came to the Empire Junction area. It was about the same time fur trader Louis Vasquez set up a cabin in this area. Vasquez later moved up to Empire and built a larger cabin and did a lot of hunting. He later moved to south of Greeley and built his fort which has been renovated into a museum.

Andrew bought part of the Cross Ranch land. The ranch field sits where the bridge crosses from I-70 Exit 232. Andrew also filed a mill site and a mining claim, naming them for the town of Alvorado.

Andrew would transport supplies by mule from Idaho Springs and some times from Denver over Floyd Hill to Alvarado mines. On several occasions he traded his hauling charges for a 1/6 interest to the mine he was delivering supplies to.  By doing so, he was part owner of 6 differnt mines, the Amenda, the Little Jesse, the Coin, the Little Daisy, the Little Rose, and the ___________.  The other parts of the mines were later bought out and deeded to his grand children and great grand children: Jeff Bulkeley, Debbie Bulkeley, Damion Bulkeley, Amber Jacobsen, Mason Tyler Allen and Ryan Alexis Allen. The Alvarado Mine is located just below the Silver Creek Trail and above the Easter Seal camp. The mines produced silver and gold. Pat Mench who owns the Phoenix Mine with her husband in Idaho Springs found an assay report many years ago. The Phoenix Mine tour is excellent and the only mine with a mill inside the mine.

Andrew Andreason built a two room cabin on his mill site in 1878. Being in the town of Alvorado, he named his property Rancho Alvorado. When the County named the current road after the town, they misspelled the name to Alvarado. At some point the town burned to the ground and most of the early records were destroyed. 

rental cabin rocky mountains clear creek fishing rental cabinIn the original cabin, the front door was where the master bedroom is now (left side of house in photo, right). That door has since been built over and replaced by a new front door on the road side. There was a doorway into what is now the second bedroom. The foundation of the cabin is wood planks sitting on a wall of rocks.

The nails are hand made and square. 

The living room was the next room to be added. A front door was added on the road side; the existing creek side door was at that time a window. Some of the glass in the windows is the original and you can see the “ripples.”

The next addition was the bathroom and kitchen. Under the front parking lot porch is the original well. This well was the second in the state to be permitted in Colorado. As a side note, the Brown Palace in Denver has the first well permit. There is a nice history and flow chart on the wall outside the tavern at the Brown today and theirs still has a good water flow.

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The outhouse was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. It has a special patented vent that opens when the seat lid is lifted.

The out building to the west of the cabin was used as a barn then a chicken house and then as a rabbit hutch. The porch was added later.

The out buildings to the east were used as a bunk house, a storage area and as a small stable.

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There are ruins to an old milk house in the east field along the road. You can see the stairs going down. There was a spring at the bottom and the running water kept the milk cold. There is an old car frame behind the east out building on the bank of Clear Creek. This was put there to help hold the bank during high water. The Georgetown dam broke about 50 years ago and the flood waters did not touch the cabin.

In about 1920 the local Freemasons filed for a patent for a graveyard. This also included the Cross Ranch pasture. Over the protest of the field supervisor, the land was granted to the Masons. Some of the original cedar pasture posts still remain but most were removed when the new fence was built. There is still a dispute over ownership of Lot 9 in pasture, as a flood plane cannot be used as a grave yard. The cemetery, no longer maintained, is known as the Masonic Alvarado Cemetery and contains approximately 1,050 graves.

georgetown cemetery masonic cemetery alvarado coloradoWhen Georgetown rebuilt the dam in the 1970s and created Georgetown Lake, they hired Bill and Laura Menzie's Quonset hut three lots down the road to remove the existing remains and put them is smaller boxes and move them to a little chain link fenced area at the end of the Cross Ranch pasture. This is right after you cross the bridge and across from the entrance to the Easter Seal Camp trail. They said some of the remains were of Civil War veterans.  Also if a person was too tall for the coffin the leg bones were broken to fit. Other graves were moved to the Masonic Alvarado Cemetery.  

There was a railroad that ran where I-70 runs today. Hobos put a mark on a rock there that indicated that the Alvarado Rancho was a safe house and a handout of food would be given and an out building made available for shelter for the night.

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The two pictures above, also hanging at the cabin, are from 1915 and show William C. Carpenter and his wife Olive G. Carpenter, grandparents of the current owners. Olive is the daughter of the original settlers, Andrew and Guinevere. William is holding their daughter, Helen Lorraine Carpenter and they are astride the mule that carried supplies to the Alvarado mines.

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