Parker's very modest beginning came in 1860, when a one-room shack was moved from Pine Grove over to Cherry Creek to
serve as a stage stop called, appropriately, the Twenty-Mile House.  It was twenty miles from the origination point of the
Butterfield stage, what today is the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Colfax Avenue in bustling Denver.   The humble
little shack grew into a ten room Inn, changed hands twice and finally became a major stopping point for the railroad in 1882
under the ownership of James Sample Parker

   Annual Cemetery Tour

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Held annually in September

Please call to confirm dates and times:  
303-840-1075 - or- 303-663-9119

The Parker Area Historical Society is sponsoring a cemetery tour Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008 in which actors dressed in
19th-century clothing will portray nine of Parker's pioneering residents.

History will come alive as the ghosts of Parker's founders rise to tell their life stories at the J.S. Parker Cemetery.

The actors, most of whom are Parker residents, will stand in front of the deceased's grave while presenting a recap of that
person's life. James Sample Parker, the man for whom the town and the cemetery are named, moved to Parker in 1870. He
operated the 20-Mile House as a stage stop, blacksmith shop, restaurant and general store.

"It is amazing people did so many different jobs just to make a living," said owner of the War Horse Inn Stevan Strain, who will
portray Parker. Parker donated about 3 acres on a hill near the 20-Mile House, which eventually became the town's cemetery.

It has more than 500 graves, the oldest being Jonathon Tallman, portrayed by Clark Wilhelm. His tombstone simply reads
"Killed by Indians May 8, 1870."

Historical society members believe he was buried first in Parker's original cemetery near Parker Road and E-470, but was
moved to the J.S. Parker Cemetery in 1885.

Larry Smith and Susan Smith will portray Walter Heath, Parker's first physician, and his wife, Dora Heath. When the couple's
daughter Ruth died at an early age, they constructed the village's first protestant church, the Ruth Memorial Methodist

Evelyn Small will portray her mother, Rosie Rueter, whose family owned 1,120 acres four miles west of Parker.
Roy Woodbury, August Deepe, Lena Pouppirt and Frank Montgomery also will be portrayed.

©Douglas County News-Press 2004

Parker Area Historical Society


             Spirited stories float about at Rhode Island House Hotel


Main Street & Victorian Drive

Above photo: from the Parker Historical Society website

There are many offices that now occupy this historic hotel structure. It is still completely standing. There has been an addition
added on to it.


In Parker's pioneer days of the early 1900s, the Rhode Island House Hotel, built in 1906 by Martin H. Goddard, served as a
hotel and dining room for ranchers, railroaders, miners and fortune seekers as they passed through the two-street town.  

But did they all leave?

The building still stands today at its original location on the corner of Mainstreet and Victorian Drive.

The small hotel rooms now act as offices for several private businesses.
Some of the tenants are convinced the old hotel is haunted, some are not quite sure, but they all have heard the stories:
Stories of doors opening and closing for no apparent reason; stories of unexplainable noises, of lights flickering and of
silhouettes of people, possibly old travelers, that on second glance disappear.

"There have been several times when I am here setting up early in the morning with my back to the counter and I can see out
of the corner of my eye and faintly hear someone walking up, but when I turn around and get out 'Can I help ... ' they are
gone," said Mary Ann Lathrok, owner of Mainstreet Coffee Shop.

In one of the old interior doorways, Lathrok often sees a dark shadow, which she describes as a silhouette of a person
looking in. It could, perhaps, be a lingering soul still watching the political debates that used to take place on the first floor of
the hotel.

"I think there are quite a few spirits here," she said.

One of the few nights she worked late into the evening she left the shop momentarily to take out the trash. She thought she
was alone, but when she returned, her coffee grinder, for no apparent reason, had been turned on.

"I turned it off and left as quickly as I could," she said.

Walking up the old wooden stairs to the second floor, one can almost feel the presence of a time long since past. With the
dimly lighted hallways, creaking floorboards and turn-of -the-century style decor, the upstairs office space lends itself
perfectly to the eerie backdrop of ghost stories.

"I have always thought someone had to be floating around in here," said Carrie Black, owner of Blackbelt Financial.

While working at her computer, Black saw brown corduroy pants and saddle shoes out of the corner of her eyes.

When she turned to see who was there, the person was gone.

                                                                   How to find it:

Location: From Main street and Parker road drive east on Main street for .15 miles. The house is on the left


                                          The Montgomery House

                                                             11023 Pikes Peak Drive


Photo: Parker Historical Society website

Down the street and around the corner from the old Rhode Island Hotel, ghost stories linger in a few of the remaining
Victorian houses that used to house Parker's first residents.

"The legend on this street is that at night an old man can be seen looking out the window [a second story window at 11023
Pikes Peak Drive] onto the street," said Patrick Bygott.


Frank Leviga Montgomery (1846-1917) was born in Coos County, New Hampshire. After the Civil War, he came to Colorado
and became a freighter.

He married Elizabeth Ellen O'Neal (1856-1947) from Clinton County, Missouri, 17 November, 1872. They lived in Arapahoe
County until 1873 when they started a homestead on Cherry Creek, just below and west of the Rowley homestead, where
Stroh Ranch is now located. He later acquired more property further west.

The Montgomerys were ranchers and farmers and became part of the social and business life of Pine Grove. Frank was
active in politics and was elected county commissioner in 1887.

Later they moved to Denver, but city life did not agree with them and they returned to the ranch, this time west of Parker.
After several years there, in 1916 they sold the ranch and moved to Parker, where they built this house and lived there until
Frank died in 1917. He was buried in the J.S. Parker cemetery. Elizabeth died in 1947 and is also in the J.S. Parker cemetery.
The Montgomery House is privately owned and currently functions as a book store.

                                                                How To Find it:

From the intersection of Parker's Mainstreet and Parker Road (Colorado 83) drive east on Mainstreet for 0.2 miles to Pike's
Peak Drive; right (south) for 0.1 miles to the third house on the right (west) side of the street.


                                                Herzog House

                                                             10970 Pikes Peak Drive


Photo: Parker Historical Society website

Bygott works in the Herzog House at 10970 Pikes Peak Drive. The house was built in 1911 for Charles and Esther Herzog.
He has not seen a ghost since he began working in the house in 1996, but does believe in spirits.

"Sometimes when I have been here late at night I have felt a cold presence going by and heard banging noises," he said.

Bygott attributes the unexplainable to the ghost of Lewis, a man who lived in the house in the early 1900s.

"When I get here early in the morning when it is still dark outside I ring the doorbell just to let Lewis know that I am coming in
and do not want any trouble."

Source:  ©Douglas County News-Press 2004

Spirited stories float about at Rhode Island Hotel
By: Jennifer Simonson      October 30, 2002


Charles Herzog (1870-1939) was born in Alsace-Lorraine, France. At the age of four he came with his parents to the United
States, first settling in Illinois.

In 1879 the family came to Colorado and lived on a ranch near Cherry Creek, where Charles grew up. In 1906 he married
Esther Lewis and in 1910 they came to Parker where he went into partnership with Walter M. Lewis, his brother-in-law, in a
general merchandise business. The partnership lasted until 1916, when Walter retired and moved to California.

Charles operated the business until his death in 1939. Esther C. Lewis (1881-1967) was born in Denver, Colorado. She
attended Cherry Creek School, after which she taught school at the Fonder and Pine Grove schools. Available records give
no clue as to how and where she and Charles met and became acquainted.

After Charles' death, Esther married Stratford Tallman, son of John M. and Elizabeth Tallman, in 1945. The house was built in
1911 and occupied by Esther the rest of her life.

                                                                   How to find it

From the intersection of Parker's Mainstreet and Parker Road (Colorado 83), drive east on Mainstreet for 0.2 miles to Pike's
Peak Drive; right (south) for 0.1 miles to Pike's Peak Court. The house is located at the northeast corner of that intersection
at #10970 and is presently painted yellow.

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