Evergreen Colorado History
Evergreen CO is filled with history! Click the different tabs below to learn more.
Some of the first settlers in Evergreen were the Humphreys. The property was first developed by John J. Clarke in 1878 when he homesteaded 350 acres. He raised cattle, logged and built a small homestead cabin that still exists as the oldest part of the house. The center of the house and the stone-walled root cellar were built by “Cousin Jack,” the best carpenter in Central City, in 1883. As most Evergreen residents, Clark used the land to log wood to meet the growing demand for lumber in Denver.
In 1920 Lucius (Lee) and Hazel Humphrey bought the ranch and moved here in 1921 with their daughter, Hazel Lou. The Humphrey’s named the property Kinnikinnik Ranch.
Lee Humphrey was born at his grandfather’s farmhouse in Jericho Center, Vermont in 1883. His ancestors came to New England from England in 1680. His newspaper career began early as he was the editor-in-chief of his school newspaper at Edmonds High Schools. He moved to Colorado in 1911 with his first wife Blanche. She died of tuberculosis in 1914.
Lee was head of the copy desk at the Rocky Mountain News for 25 years and the Denver Post for 10 years. He was a newspaperman’s newspaperman and according to the Rocky Mountain News, “never too hurried to be right and never too busy to be courteous and kind.” He even helped Mary Chase, author of Harvey, when she was a young reporter.
He too was known as the mountain area’s first year-round Denver commuter. An honor indeed as Evergreen did not become known as a commuter community until the 1950s. He drove a Model T, that he named Mary Ann, for two and a half hours daily to reach the copy desk in Denver. At the time of his death in 1946, the Rocky Mountain News estimated that he had driven over a half a million miles - just to get back to the home and family he loved.