Monday, April 1, 2013

A: Avery House


Built in 1879, this sandstone mansion was home to Franklin and Sara Avery and their three children. Mr. Avery came to Fort Collins as a surveyor, and he's credited with laying out many of our lovely wide streets--he wanted enough room for the wagons to turn around. He went on to successful careers in ranching, real estate, agriculture, and banking. In 1910, he retired and moved to California for health reasons.

His younger brother, William, who also came to Fort Collins to seek his fortune, wasn't so lucky. He died in 1890 of what appeared to be a stomach ailment. But when his widow secretly married his business partner twelve days later, foul play was suspected. It was determined that William died from arsenic poisoning, but because the prosecution couldn't prove that it wasn't by his own hand, his former wife and her new husband were acquitted. 

The Avery House has been restored and is open to the public for free tours and holiday events. It's one of my favorite historical places around town.





13 comments:

Victoria Teoh said...

That's a beautiful place. I would love to go there and live there so badly. Thanks for sharing a little about this!

Found you through the A-Z Challenge,
Victoria from Always a Booklover

Jan Newman said...

A beautiful house + a mystery/murder. Good combination.

Jan at Website
Beyond Acadia
Faith Talk
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Linda Ann Nickerson said...

What a cool house!

Happy A to Z!
(I'm doing EIGHT blogs. Whew.)
Here's one:
A is for Absent - Rhymed Acrostics from A to Z

Erick Farish said...

Sounds like William didn't "Ask The Hard Questions!" ;) Hope his partner did!!!

Great first post! I'm a bit of a history buff so I really enjoyed this one. Love the idea of getting your son involved on the photography too- Cool idea!!

Best of Luck to you guys!

Cheers!!

Erick @ A Brief Sinfonia: Loving Your Wife From A-Z

Lexie C. said...

I love posts like this! Great way to start the challenge.

Beautiful house, poor William!

Teresa Coltrin said...

Do you think they'd mind if I lived in the Avery House?

Interesting post.

Tex said...

What a cool idea for a series, Jenny - it's so rare to see anyone (outside the occasional glamorous big-important-city person) take the time to sniff around town and dredge up the things that make it unique. Terrific first post - I am so looking forward to getting the full tour!

Betsy Brock said...

Ooh..interesting stories about those Averys! Beautiful old home, too! Looking foward to the challenge along with you!

Mark Means said...

Howdy from A to Z...new follower here.

That's a great looking house. I'm betting your hometown is pretty cool and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it :)

Tia Bach said...

I love that your theme is local, and I'm looking forward to finding out more. It's shaping up to be a great April!

lizy-expat-writer said...

That house reminds me of some I saw in Ottowa. I bet the ex-Mrs Avery was shunned by society even if she was acquitted!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I was just cruising through the A to Z list looking for friends and there you were. Love that you started with Avery House.

Kathy Skinner (Kat) said...

I love it when people restore historic buildings! I grew up in a town that had lots of history and great architecture.