Richard Little, the founder of Littleton, commissioned one of Denver’s top architects, Robert S. Roeschlaub, to design his new family home in 1884. The Littles were among the most prominent residents in the community’s earliest years. A civil engineer by trade, Little worked on the Capitol Hydraulic Company Ditch (Denver’s City Ditch), was a co-founder of the Rough and Ready Flour Mill, and was elected to the territorial legislature in 1873. Little platted the Town of Littleton in 1872 on his land.
The Richard Little House is constructed of square rough-cut pink rhyolite from Castle Rock laid in irregular courses. The rhyolite is one of the most extensively used quarried building materials in the Front Range area. The house is in the English/Norman Cottage style with a complex roof structure and overlapping front façade gables. The northern front gable features a round window. City Attorney William Caley and his wife purchased the house in 1914. Caley operated a grocery store on Main Street as well. After Caley’s death in a mining accident in 1918, the house fell into decline and become known as the local haunted house.
Harleigh Holmes rescued and renovated the residence in 1937—and he failed to find any ghosts in the process. Holmes had the means as he had invented the front-wheel drive axel system for the Holmes Motor Company, which later joined with Coleman Manufacturing Company. The home’s appearance today exhibits the extensive changes made by Holmes rather than the original Roeschlaub design. The home remained in the Holmes family until 1981. The residence is now used as an office.
Learn more about the Little Family here: Richard and Angeline Little, littletongov.org.