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The imposing Croke-Patterson Mansion in the Capitol Hill neighborhood would fit in perfectly in the rolling countryside of France, but the rare Manitou sandstone reveals its true Colorado roots. It was built by school teacher, merchant and experimental agricultural genius, Thomas Croke in 1890. It was designed by Isaac Hodgson, who had previously designed county courthouses across Indiana, industrial exposition halls in Minneapolis, and institutional buildings across the country before turning his Chateauesque-inspired style toward this stately home in the newly fashionable Capitol Hill district. Croke lived in his home for only a short while, before relocating to the family farm in Brighton in 1892.

He sold his mansion to Thomas Patterson, a journalist and occasional politician. Patterson was the editor and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, and served as Territorial Delegate, Representative, and Senator for Colorado during his political career. During his time as editor of the Rocky Mountain News, he was something of a firebrand, fueling a long standing feud with Governor Charles S. Thomas, championing first the Democratic then Populist party, and railing against the political machine that corrupted Denver’s local government. In 1908, he got into a brawl on the street with Fredrick G. Bonfils, publisher of the rival Denver Post. Of the encounter, one newspaper wryly noted that “It is said that harsh words were used before and after the encounter, although the version of the affair given by both parties is as divergent as their newspaper articles have been.”

Patterson died in 1916, and his home was sold soon after. In the 1920s, the home was divided into apartments, and it slowly fell into a state of disrepair. In 2011, it was purchased after being vacant for three years. After extensive and painstaking renovations, it opened in 2012 as the Patterson Historic Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast.

Tags

Thomas Croke, Thomas Patterson, Fredrick Bonfils, newspapers, Rocky Mountain News, Patterson Historic Inn

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