Widow Mary Cawker bought the Four Mile House, a two year-old log home on the banks of the Cherry Creek from Jonas Brantner in 1860. Cawker continued the usage of the house as an inn, but supposedly used the upstairs as a dance hall. After the dances, the guests would find lodging for the night. In the morning, Cawker would serve coffee, fries, beans and salty meat to her guests and allow them to enjoy the view of the Rocky Mountains. Cawker established the Four Mile House as a stage station and tavern to supply fresh teams of horses to the stage line as well as refreshments to passengers before the last four mile trek into downtown Denver. In 1864, when a flood brought the Cherry Creek too near her house, Cawker sold the station and moved into the city where she ran a boarding house for performers.