The History of McAllister House Museum

When most of the houses of the some 240 residents of Fountain Colony, later known as Colorado Springs, were little more than temporary timber shelters, Major Henry McAllister and his wife Elizabeth Couper McAllister built a house of bricks.

The house plans were prepared by the Philadelphia architect, George Summers, who also designed General Palmer’s Glen Eyrie residence and Grace Episcopal Church.

Henry McAllister took great interest and care in the construction of this house for his family who was so far from their long-established community of Darby, Pennsylvania. After a high wind destroyed some houses in the new colony, he decided to add another layer of bricks to the building.  It is commonly thought that these bricks were transported by train from Philadelphia.  It is known that he did import the three marble fireplaces that exist in the house.  Some of the interior finish work and the porch rails were constructed by Winfield Scott Stratton, who later became a mining millionaire after discovering the Independence Mine in Cripple Creek, CO.  The unique truncated gables seem to anchor the house to the open prairie.

Major McAllister made his home in this small house until his death in 1921.  For the next 30 plus years the house was rented by the family to Mrs. Fanny Robbins who used the house for a candy and “wedding gift” shop.  Upon her death in 1958, the family sold the house.

In 1961 a historic preservation group, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in Colorado, with the help of the El Pomar Foundation and Shepard’s Citations, was able to buy and restore the house.

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