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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

A Holiday Tour of the Governor’s Mansion

I love touring all of the historic buildings and sites of Colorado. But why, after living in Denver for over eleven years, I have not yet been to the Colorado Governor’s Mansion, I cannot tell you. It has perpetually been on my list of places to visit, something else has just come up. Finally though, as I get into the holiday spirit, I made it over to take a tour of the historic home decked out for the season.
The Colorado Governor’s Mansion, also known as the Cheesman-Evans-Boettcher Mansion for its previous owners, was built in 1908. It wasn’t built, though, with the intent of it being used by the governor. Instead, it was built by the wealthy real estate family, the Cheesmans, and ultimately deeded to the state through the Boettchers in 1959. Since then, when Governor McNichols accepted the gift, it has been used as a home for all of the Colorado Governors with the exception of the present one – Governor John Hickenlooper.
I wish I knew why “Hick” doesn’t stay there, because it is an absolutely impressive building. And it only gets better when going inside.
Crossing through the entryway, I was instantly transported back a century. While the furniture and decorations are largely modern – many historic items do still decorate the household – I immediatelly felt that time warp of being sent back to the old days when Denver and Colorado were still growing and gaining their feet, not yet 35 years into statehood.
The Colorado Governor’s Mansion is open for tours on Tuesdays in the summer, but also for a special holiday period. I was fortunate enough to be able to get in on the first day, but it the opportunity is open for the rest of the week – through Friday, December 16th. And it is worth the time, seeing the historic building decorated in the holiday manner of several cultures important to the area is certainly a great free treat.
I paused briefly to admire the various displays from Mexico, Eastern Europe, parts of Asia, as well as many others. It was fantastic, thinking of all of the various groups and cultures who make up not just Denver and Colorado, but also the United States as a whole. It certainly caused me to pause a moment and take it all in, witnessing it in an incredibly small microcosm at the Colorado Governor’s Mansion.
After thoroughly exploring the accessible areas of the first floor – the upstairs was closed to visitors – I head out on the mansion grounds and to the old carriage house. Now it is a small museum and reception room. The room is currently being used for exhibitions during the holiday tour season. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time watching a Native American song and dance celebration.
I left the Colorado Governor’s Mansion pleased that I had finally visited a building which has long been on my list. Now that it is crossed off, I look forward to learning more about the governors of Colorado. I have read several books about the history of Colorado, but after walking through the home I can tell that it is nearly not enough – people who I have never heard of are honored in its halls. And quite simply, I think it’s important that I rectify my error and take the time to learn more about the history of the fabulous state in which I live.

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