Arapahoe County completes 17 Mile barn preservation

17 Mile House project possible thanks to $200,000 grant from History Colorado State Historical Fund

Staff report
Posted 11/18/19

Arapahoe County Open Spaces has finished a seven-month project designed to stabilize and preserve the historic 17 Mile House barn. History Colorado provided a $200,000 grant from the State Historical …

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Arapahoe County completes 17 Mile barn preservation

17 Mile House project possible thanks to $200,000 grant from History Colorado State Historical Fund

Posted

Arapahoe County Open Spaces has finished a seven-month project designed to stabilize and preserve the historic 17 Mile House barn. History Colorado provided a $200,000 grant from the State Historical Fund to help with the preservation project.

17 Mile House is one of two mile houses in Colorado — the other being Four Mile House in Glendale — that remain in their original locations and settings. These houses served as way stations for travelers headed toward Denver as Westward Expansion lured people to the territory that would become Colorado. The houses were named according to their distance from the downtown Denver intersection of Broadway and Colfax Avenue.

Constructed in the 1870s, 17 Mile House was a rest stop for pioneers making their way west along wagon routes. Once railroads replaced stagecoaches as the preferred mode of travel, the 33-acre property became a working farm.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and acquired by Arapahoe County in 2001. Now the county-designated heritage area includes a historic house, red barn, silo and milk shed.

Time and the elements had taken a toll on the barn, making it unsafe for public access. The restoration project used the History Colorado grant to fund a series of improvements, including structural beam repairs, rafter and joist repairs, rebuilt walls and portions of the foundation, restored fascias around the barn, new roof with skylights and a lightning protection system and newly painted exterior.

By making these upgrades, Arapahoe County Open Spaces ensures that 17 Mile House will remain accessible to visitors for the next century. Now that the renovation is complete, the barn will display historic farm equipment and reopen for tours, educational events, and agricultural demonstrations. To find out more information about the project and see a visitors guide for the entire 17 Mile House Farm Park, visit www.arapahoegov.com.

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