“Colorado’s Crown Jewel”
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This 37-room, 24,000-square-foot mansion was the home of John A. and Margaret Thatcher and their family for 75 years. Designed by New York architect Henry Hudson Holly and completed in 1893, it took two years to build. It cost, according to the museum’s website, all of $60,750.00 to construct. That is, according to an inflation calculator that I found on the internet, $1,455,038.30 in today’s dollars. And that is assuming you can still find the exquisite materials and the skilled craftsmen needed to build this majestic home.
On the day of our visit, my wife and I were guided through the home by a delightful and knowledgeable docent named Amy. Our tour with Amy took about one hour, and it was well worth the time that we spent with her. She is knowledgeable about the history of the home, and she knows much about the furnishings, art works, room designs, and family members who lived there.
I am not sure if self-guided tours are allowed, but given our experience, I recommend the guided tour. You will learn so much more than if you wander through the home by yourself.
We began our tour in the Victorian kitchen that has a butler’s area, a large Army Range No. 5 oven, and a vintage intercom system. The intercom no longer works, but it is interesting to see the technology of that day and time.
The Rosemount House is so large that the Thatcher family paid servant’s to maintain the home and to serve the family and guests. The servants had their own living quarters. In order to maintain the family’s privacy, doors leading into the family’s part of the home have silver doorknobs, while the doors leading into the servant’s quarters have black iron doorknobs.
After walking through a silver-knobbed door, we found ourselves in the grand entrance, the part of he home that sets the stage for the rest of the tour. The hall has coffered ceilings, a large Tiffany chandelier, one of the house’s ten fireplaces, and a staircase that leads you past a 9×13-foot stained glass window. The window, titled “Kingdoms of Nature,” was installed by the Thatchers in memory of two of their children who did not live to adulthood.
Adjacent to the hall is the oak-paneled dining room. Capable of seating 18 diners, the room has elaborate artwork as well as the same type of coffered, white-oak ceiling found in the grand entrance. Many rooms in the home, however, have beautifully hand-painted ceilings.
The rest of the home is as equally spectacular, and many of the rooms have their own story to tell. I’ll spare you the details as I think you will enjoy it more if you actually see them while listening to the docent tell you the story and purpose of each room.
Consider adding this mansion-turned-museum to your road trip. If you are an art, architecture, history, or antique buff traveling through southern Colorado, you will not regret taking the time to exit I-25 and spending a few hours at this Pueblo, Colorado landmark.