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Mount Vernon House (Robert W. Steele House)
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,
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