Dora Heath House
The house that Dr. Walter L. Heath had built for his wife and expanding family was too large and expensive for his widow, Dora, to maintain after his death. In addition, the big house had a complicated central heating system and it seemed something was always going haywire with the plumbing. She took stock of her assets, which included this too-large house, a small ranch south of Parker, and a homestead claim up in Weld County by Keensburg. Neither ranch property made much money and seemed to be unneeded expenses. They had been acquired because it was a dream of the doctor’s to leave each of his boys a ranch. This dream would now have to sacrificed.
Dora kept her head barely above water for several years and was finally able to sell the Douglas County ranch. She was then determined to perfect the homestead claim in Weld County so she could sell it, and left Parker in 1917 with her boys to take on this task. Disaster after disaster struck the young mother. A granary that she had moved onto the property to live in, and a well that she had dug, proved to be on the neighbor’s property and had to be abandoned. She had a small 10’ by 20’ lean-to built on the right side of the property line to live in. It was far from town and they had no transportation. After one of her boys had a disastrous bout of the flu, she finally gave in and moved back to Parker. She did not even think of remarriage as she held a conviction that her boys must come first. She had the big house sold and then had William O’Brien build her the small two-bedroom home pictured here, without the complications of inside plumbing and central heating. The new home had a path in place of a bath, and a water pump near the back porch. Kerosene lamps provided artificial light. The privy was attached to the coal shed, which was really a stroke of genius as it was never turned over on Halloween as many others were. She lived here for many years, raising her two boys and participating in various church and town activities. In her declining years, she left Parker to live in Denver in one of her older boys’ apartment buildings until her death in 1958. The house has had many different tenants and for the last several years it has been occupied by a beauty salon.
Note: The house was originally sided with lap siding, but in recent years a rock siding was put on.