Glassware set: Decanter and Five Glasses
-The provenance of these pieces is unclear. They appear to be connected to the Nevitt Family of Aspen, Colorado. The donor Nila Wilson was married to Grant Wilson and in the accession file is documentation connecting him to the Nevitt family. More research needs to be done.
-8.4.2013 Alisa Zahller, found the donor Nila Wilson in her 90s living with the Sam and Barb Tucker family (Nila's daughter Barb 541.459.0832) in Oregon, per Nila the decanter and tray 88.484.2 belonged to Henry Webber and his wife Ula (Ula needs more research--see other notes about Henry's wife Harriett). Per Nila, Henry was the first Mayor of Aspen (need to verify) and after the silver bust moved from Aspen to California and then to Arizona. The items were passed down to Nila and Grant Wilson who then gave them to History Colorado., Pioneer Park (Aspen, Colorado)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henry Webber House
Historic Resources of Aspen MRA
Added to NRHP:
March 6, 1987
Pioneer Park, also known as the Henry Webber House or the Webber–Paepcke House, is located on West Bleeker Street in Aspen, Colorado, United States. It is a brick structure erected in the 1880s, one of the few such homes in the city. In 1987 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Henry Webber, its builder, was a shoe merchant who grew wealthy from his mining investments during Aspen's original growth during the Colorado Silver Boom. The house is said to be haunted by the ghost of his wife Harriet, who died under controversial circumstances. It is the only intact house in the Second Empire architectural style in the city, particularly on the interior. At one time it was owned by Walter Paepcke, the Chicago businessman who led Aspen's mid-20th-century renaissance as a ski resort town.
While Paepcke owned the house, he invited Albert Schweitzer to Aspen to give the keynote speech at a festival he organized to commemorate Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's bicentennial. It was Schweitzer's only visit to the U.S., and he stayed in the carriage house at the rear of the property. Today that building, a contributing resource to the Register listing, is known as Schweitzer Cottage. The house remains a private residence.
Webber History--from Wikipedia 9.4.2013
Henry Webber arrived in Aspen with his wife Harriet from the East in 1880. She was one of 13 women who spent that winter in what was still a mining camp. At that time it was beginning to transform from a small collection of log cabins into a more permanent settlement due to the many lodes of silver being mined from the surrounding mountains. The couple started a business selling and repairing shoes and clothing. The Webbers also began investing in local mines.
Both businesses succeeded, making them wealthy, but Harriet Webber was unable to enjoy it. In 1881 she died of an overdose of strychnine, then available over the counter as a tranquilizer. Her last words, "Henry will know", led to rumors that her death was either a suicide or murder brought on by a rumored extramarital affair between him and her niece. In the end it was ruled accidental.
Webber became city treasurer in 1883. Harriet's ghost is said to haunt the house he built two years later. Aspen's newly successful were building homes in a variety of Victorian styles in the city's West End. Webber, who also built downtown Aspen's Elks Building, used the Second Empire mode for his house, not a common choice at the time in the city. It is the only one that remains intact in Aspen today, along with its original iron fence along the street.
House ca. 1890
Later Webber served a term as mayor of Aspen, elected despite revelations that he had abandoned a wife and family prior to marrying Harriet. Shortly after that time, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed and the city's economy began to contract. The decades afterward, as its population declined from over 10,000 to 500 by 1930, are called "the quiet years". Many buildings and houses from the boom years were abandoned and succumbed to fire and/or the effects of severe winters at high elevation in the Rocky Mountains. The Pioneer Park house survived because after Webber's death in 1911, it became the home of the Prechtls, local blacksmiths.
In 1944 it was purchased by Walter Paepcke, a Chicago businessman who, along with his wife Elizabeth, had seen the potential Aspen offered for the development of a ski resort and financed the initial development of the Aspen Mountain ski area. The Paepckes also began efforts to make Aspen a cultural center. They are regarded as the founders of modern Aspen as a result.
As one aspect of this, in 1949 Walter Paepcke, working with University of Chicago chancellor Robert Maynard Hutchins, organized a conference and festival in Aspen to commemorate the bicentennial of German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They invited German humanist Albert Schweitzer to come from his missionary and medical work in West Africa to give the festival's keynote address; it would be his only visit to the United States during the 90 years of his life. While in Aspen, as Paepcke's guest, he stayed in the carriage house on the Pioneer Park property. It has since been named Schweitzer Cottage in his memory and designated a local landmark.
Paepcke painted the house pink while he owned it; since then it has been painted light tan. He and Elizabeth built the summer house and garage. They may also have built the additions on the carriage house, and added the marble fireplace in the living room. At some point after 1980 the additional wings on the building and the swimming pool were added. The trees along the street and the property line have also been allowed to mature, isolating and shading the house. There have been no other significant changes to the property