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Mount Vernon House (Robert W. Steele House)

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Robert W. Steele House
1860, George Morrison. 1 mile south of Golden at I-70, Jefferson County 26, and Mount Vernon Canyon Rd. (NR)

At the mouth of the Mount Vernon Canyon route into the mountain gold fields, stonemason George Morrison built this two-story house with 22-inch-thick walls of rough-faced native sandstone and shingle cladding on the second story. After Morrison moved on to found the nearby town named for him (see below, Jefferson County), this became the home of Robert W. Steele. Steele was elected governor of Jefferson Territory, an extralegal territory never recognized by Congress which preceded the official 1861 creation of Colorado Territory. The enthusiastic but stillborn Jefferson Territorial government met in the front hall under 12-foot-high ceilings. “Governor” Steele, a great admirer of George Washington, envisioned creation of Mount Vernon City, which existed from 1860 to 1885. The house served over the years as a general store, roadhouse, post office, saloon, and Wells Fargo stage stop. Designated Colorado's first HABS site and Jefferson County's first National Register site, it became the house that moved a freeway when I-70 was constructed around it during the 1960s.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Mount Vernon House (Robert W. Steele House)", [Golden, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 156-157.

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