Miksch-Helmer Cabin

Designated: February 28, 2017
Location: Chatfield Valley
Current Owner: Board of County Commissioners
Nominated By: Susan Trumble and Mary O’Pry

Historic Significance

Historic Significance

Built by Amos C. Miksch, who served as a private in the First Cavalry Regiment of the Colorado Volunteers, and witnessed the Sand Creek Massacre, this circa early 1870s cabin is a testament to the endurance of the immigrants who came to Colorado during its pioneer era.  In the Homestead Application for a 160-acre claim, Miksch stated that he built the cabin, stable, corral, chicken house, cellar, milk house, fenced twenty acres, dug a well and irrigation ditch.  After proving up the property, Miksch sold it to Frederick Neumyer in 1873, who owned it until 1883 when he sold it to Franz and Judith Helmer.  During their ownership, the Helmers built  a cattle ranching operation that eventually grew to over 3,200 acres.  The descendants of Franz and Judith lived on the property for over 100 years.

Sitting along the Highline Canal in northwest Douglas County, the log cabin is constructed of logs.  Its interior is comprised of one large room with a flight of stairs up to a loft.  The walls are exposed log that at one time were whitewashed.  The loft has a wood floor with log walls and horizontal boards in the gable ends.

The cabin is an excellent example of pioneer log architecture now rare in Douglas County. Its character defining features are the hand-hewn logs that are laid with a square notch technique, the original front door on the oldest portion of the cabin, the ½ story loft, the gabled roof, and the original double-hung windows located on the west elevation of the original part of the cabin. The south addition was built prior to 1920 and is constructed of wood-frame with board-and batten siding.