Bowles House to celebrate 25 years

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The Bowles House in Westminster was almost destroyed before becoming an historic site and museum.

In 1981 the city of Westminster was going to destroy the Bowles House in a practiced burn, but a group of third-graders had another plan.

“The students at Vista Grande Elementary School are the ones who really saved the museum,” said Linda Cherrington with the Westminster Historical Society.

“Those kids wrote to the city, TV stations and newspapers asking to not burn down the house, but to restore it. They did a good thing.”

The Bowles House property at 3924 W. 72nd Ave. was homesteaded by Edward Bruce Bowles in 1871. Edward Bowles married Mahalia Elizabeth Longan and was a horse breeder who rode in the Denver Pioneer Parade.

Through the month of May, the Bowles House will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with special events and free

museum tours.

According to the National Register of Historic Places, the house was constructed between 1871 and 1876.

The Bowles were the second permanent settlers in the Westminster area, and their family of nine children played an important role in the growth of the city.

Since the restoration and official opening of the museum in 1988, the Bowles House has been a local historical landmark giving residents a glimpse into Westminster’s past.

“Over the years we’ve grown a lot and now every room is filled up with furniture and other historical items from the Westminster area,” Cherrington said.

“We’ve received so many donated items and now we will celebrate 25 years.”

The month of events begins with a reception at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Bowles House.

On Saturday, May 11, Linda Graybeal will present herself at Mahalia Bowles.

“Mahalia was a tough woman, she had to be. She wasn’t cultured or refined, she even liked to smoke a pipe now and again,” Graybeal said.

“She raised all of those kids in that house and her world view was survival. So I try to imagine what made this woman, who she was and what kept her going when I portray her.”

On May 18, the Bowles House will display local quilts, and on May 25, the Westminster Historical Society will present the Historical Preservation Award to a home owner or business owner who had made steps to preserve their historical home or business.

Also on May 18, the historical society will honor those who have served in the military during “A Salute to the Military” event at the Westminster Grange, 3935 W. 73rd Ave. Local veterans are invited to attend and share their stories.

For more information on the Bowles House 25th Anniversary call 303-426-5279.

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