Saving A Gold Rush Mansion
Williams Burns Mansion - Circa 1898
1315 Wood Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado
After eight months (November 30th, 2020 - July 30, 2021) we are proud to report that we resuscitated the Williams Burns Mansion of Colorado Springs.
One of the reasons why we purchased 1315 Wood Ave was, the 14,000 sf house and 5500 sf of outbuildings were Colorado Gold Rush survivors but they were endangered of being torn down. Moreover this 1898 mansion and its structures were built and then expanded by two successful Gold Rush mining entrepreneurs. I and the historic society have yet to identify another Colorado Springs mansion of the Gold Rush era that was actually built by a Colorado Gold Rush miner, let alone two gold mining pioneers.
Architects Douglas & Hetherington (1897 – 1915) designed the residence at 1315 Wood Ave as a classic example of Dutch Colonial Revival distinguished by its gambrel (barnlike) roof. The house was built for $15,000 in 1897 by Nelson B. Williams, president of the Isabella Mining Co. in Cripple Creek.
"Nelson B. Williams just completed his new residence on Wood Avenue and is getting ready to move into the same. It is a 15-room house with all modern improvements and barn attached. The cost of the building was $15,000 Douglas & Hetherington were the architect." FACTS, Colorado Springs, May 7, 1898: " & Obituary "Mrs. Nelson B. Williams." Chicago Tribune, May 19, 1900
James F. Burns purchased the property in 1902: "Jimmie" Burns was an owner of the Portland Mine in Victor that would soon become Colorado’s single largest producer of Gold. Burns enlarged the dwelling with a substantial addition on the south that was designed by the original architects, making it the showplace of Colorado Springs’ "Millionaire's Row."
Burns died in his second-floor bedroom in September, 1917. His wife and children resided in the home for several year but eventually moved to Denver and sold the house.
The mansion was sold again in 1940. It was subdivided into apartments in 1942, which was a fate endured by many large Colorado Springs homes during the Depression and war years of the 1930s and 1940s .
"Said to Produce Solid Gold: Story of The STRIKE In The Isabella"
San Francisco Call, February 19, 1899
Portland Gold Mine Stock Certificate signed by James F. Burns as President
BURNS SELLS THE CONTROL OF GREAT PORTLAN D GOLD MINE
Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 13, 1903
The controlling interest in the Portland Gold Mining Company, involving approximately 1,900,000 shares, out of a total Issued capital stock of 3,000,000 shares, yesterday was sold by President James F. Burns and associates to W. K. Ryan of New York , supposed to represent the Ryan-Whitney syndicate and the Guggenheim Exploration Company. The exact terms of the sale are withheld , although , according to estimates of prominent local mining men , the deal involves considerably more than$5,000,000.
Portland stock Is at present selling around $1.20 per share, and it is generally supposed that the stock brought more than $2.50 per share. The latter price alone would aggregate a total of $4,750,000. Of the stock thus transferred James F. Burns and his immediate family held slightly in excess of 1,- 500,000 shares, or the control and Senator Shannon of New York and Irving W. Howbert of Colorado Springs owned approximately 400,000 shares. The deal included every large block of stock , excepting the Stratton holdings, amounting to (150,000 shares, and which were not touched, because of their close connection with the estate and its settlement. The remaining '150.000 shares are divided among numerous small holders.
W. ¦ K. Ryan , who has been in this city for a month, and expects to remain here several months longer, stated that he did not. care to enter into any ex- tended discussion of the matter, but. admitted that the deal was made, declaring that the details were private. He said: "It is true that I have been negotiating with President Burns for some time relative to the control of the Portland company, and that the deal has been closed." When asked whether a change in the company's policy was intended, he replied. "It. is not our custom to change the management of corporations in which, we become interested, when we And their management as satisfactory as in that of the Portland company."
11-30-202 & 07-30-2021
11-30-202 & 07-30-2021
Williams Burns Mansion, Circa 1898
May 2020 & July 2021