Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Haunted House of Globeville

A lot of decorations and haunted houses will appear in yards around Globeville during the month of October, but none of them will be as interesting as Globeville's real "haunted house."
The story begins with the discovery of gold in Colorado in 1858 and John B. Hindry, who  made a fortune supplying lumber and cattle to others who came seeking mineral riches. In 1870, the wealthy Hindry purchased 110 acres of land north of Denver along the South Platte River to build a country home away from the grime and noise of frontier Denver, with plans to create an exclusive subdivision. He constructed his two-story Victorian mansion in 1873, a masterpiece crowned with an ornate cupola and an entrance watched over by two massive iron lions. The interior was decorated with black walnut paneling and Italian marble. A two-story brick stable for trotting horses and a greenhouse stood behind the house. A miniature playhouse for the Hindry children, William, Nettie, Horace, and Charles, was built in the style of the mansion.
By the turn of the century, Hindry’s fortunes had turned. He suffered the death of his son Charles in 1878 and of his wife in 1881; his other children had married and left to begin lives of their own. John Hindry was alone in his mansion.
His dream home soon become a nightmare. Not long after his mansion was completed, the Boston and Colorado Smelter began operating (1879), followed by the Grant (1882) and Globe Smelters (1889). The construction of railroads, foundries, and meat-packing plants made the area more suited to heavy industry than to exclusive homes. The fumes from the smelters killed the trees, and ate through the carpets and curtains in the mansion, and the stench from the meat-packing plants ruined any hopes for a subdivision. When Hindry's lawsuit against the Globe Smelter was unsuccessful, he became increasingly bitter.
Rumors circulated that the lonely old man had a hoard of money hidden in the house, and thieves began to prowl the property. After being robbed several times, Hindry set up a trap with a shotgun that would fire straight out the window when the sash was raised. It didn’t take long to get results.
On the morning of September 18, 1901, Hindry set his trap as usual, and went to Golden on business. When he returned home at 6 pm, he found a man dead in his front yard.*
Eventually the trap became Hindry’s undoing. One night he entered the room when he thought he’d heard a prowler, tripped over the trigger cord and was wounded by his own gun. Although he recovered, he abandoned his former dream home to move to California in 1906. 
As the neglected and abandoned property deteriorated, stories of ghostly apparitions began to circulate. Some said they saw Hindry’s ghost, while others claim the figure was that of the man who had been shot there. The former mansion became known as Globeville's “haunted house.”
In 1921 Leo Bomareto bought the house at a tax auction for $6000 and leased it to the city for an isolation hospital for tuberculosis patients for five years, beginning in 1923. In the 1940s, the Bomareto family moved in, fixed up the house and converted the former stable in the backyard to a meat-packing plant. During the 1950s the family sold Christmas trees from a lot set up in the backyard. In July 1962, an unexplained explosion threw Frank Bomareto out of bed and the resulting fire destroyed the house. 
Today nothing remains of the Hindry Mansion but memories.

*Automatic Gun Kills Thief” Rocky Mountain News, September 19, 1901

Top photo, Hindry mansion in its prime, Colorado Historical Society
Middle photo, deteriorating "haunted house" Colorado Historical Society
Bottom photo, the site today is occupied by Bomareto's Market, Mary Lou Egan


amy e. goldsmith said...

This is so interesting! I work in Globeville (56th & Logan Court, as a Graphic Designer for a food company) and have passed many of the landmarks you blog about. I love history and ghost stories, and had no idea that Globeville has been around for so long. Thanks for the blog!

Something interesting I researched a few months ago--the Coors Family. So many weird things have happened to that family over the years. I read several articles about Joseph Corbett, Jr., the man that kidnapped and killed Adolph Coors III--he had been living in Denver until his suicide in 2009.

Mary Lou Egan said...

It's a small world - I'm a graphic designer and work for a company that manufactures household chemicals and three lines of skincare. I find history fascinating.

Glad you liked the Globeville haunted hose story - we all like to be scared now and then.

I find the Coors family interesting also - so many different characters (liberal, conservative) The kidnapping was a sad story all around - for Adolf Coors and Joseph Corbett.
Mary Lou

MissPooh said...

I grew up in Globeville. My Grandpa was a meat packer at Wilsons for 50 years. My family lived right up the street as well.

We always had different stories of that haunted house! :) I just NEVER knew the TRUE story of WHY it was haunted. We used to shop at Bomaretos and right around Halloween we never went with my Grandparents cause we were to chicken! LOL

Thank you Mary Lou for doing some justice to this story and thanks for sharing! :)

Mary Lou Egan said...

Thanks for your remarks - Bomaretos still own and work in the market on Washington. Stop in and ask Diane or June about their family.
Love to hear all the stories - and I'll bet your family has some too.
Mary Lou

Peter Gomes said...
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