Hiwan Homestead

Dr. Josepha Williams was one of the first female doctors in Colorado in 1889, operating her own sanitarium in Denver for tubercular and lung ailment patients. The mountain getaway that is now Hiwan Homestead Museum was intended to be her place of refuge. Josepha and her mother acquired the property in 1893, using the property as a summer getaway.

The homestead originated as a hay barn, which wasn’t demolished, but refurbished. Dr. Jo, as she was known, hired a Scottish carpenter who harvested materials for the restoration from the local mountain area. The only items imported were rosewood windows in the upstairs chapel. Everything else, including pine and fir wood, was locally collected. 

In 1938, Dr. Jo died and her husband Charles, an Episcopal priest, died a few years later. The home was purchased by the Buchanan family which also acquired additional land for a cattle ranching business that spread to 30,000 acres. By 1973, most of that land had been sold for housing. Fearful that Hiwan would be demolished, Jefferson County bought it with an eye toward making it into a museum, and in 1974 it was added to the register of Historic Places.

Hiwan Homestead now houses a beautiful Native American collection, a historical library, photo collection, and archives. One may participate in guided tours and educational programs. The quirky feel of the home, which was enlarged over the years room by room, as well as the lovely art and furninshings (many purchased by the original owners) make a day at Hiwan feel like a visit to a friend’s home. It is easy to imagine the people who lived in these rooms and chose these things to decorate them. Step in to Hiwan Homestead, and step back in time to touch a piece of Colorado History.

Hiwan Homestead Museum is at 4208 South Timbervale Drive (just off Meadow Drive) in Evergreen, Colorado.

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2 Responses to “Hiwan Homestead”

  1. […] was one of the founders of the Jefferson County Historical Society and helped save what is now the Hiwan Homestead Museum from being torn down for development. The museum and park are an ildyllic getaway, right in the […]

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    […]Hiwan Homestead « Evergreen's Big Chili Cook-Off[…]…

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