Tucked away in Edgewater, on a tree-lined street, is the quaint home known as the Orum House. The house is located at 2444 Depew St., and is a historical museum belonging to the City of Edgewater. The home was built in 1889 and, according to Jefferson County records, the home is the second dwelling built in Edgewater.
The Orum House was first owned by Arthur C. Pattee, who sold the house to Elsie Rink for $500 on June 29, 1909. Elsie married Frank Schmidt, who was the community fish seller. Frank and his crew would harvest fish from lakes north of the Denver area and cart them back to town for sale at his West Colfax store. The Schmidts had two children: Emma, born in 1893, and Louis, born in 1894. It is believed that Emma was the fourth child to be born in Edgewater. She inherited the house upon her mother’s death in February 1961. Emma married Chris Orum and lived in the home until her death on Dec. 28, 1980. They had no children. Emma was the sole heir of the home and its contents.
This modest, 534-square-foot home was purchased with the City of Edgewater’s Open Space funds on April 30, 1982, for the sum of $18,000 to preserve and cherish its historic significance to Edgewater. There are four rooms: a living room, bedroom, kitchen and a small “wash” room.
Emma would heat water on the wood-fed stove in the kitchen and wash herself and her clothes with a basin of water. There is also a cellar under the house where, it is said, Emma would keep her goats during the winter so they wouldn’t freeze. The house was heated by a small wood-burning stove in the living room, and Emma eventually added central heat. Both stoves are still in the home, a sight to see!
Emma liked change and was known to paint the outside of the house often. When she did, she would paint two pieces of kitchen furniture to match the color of the outside of the house. Volunteers scraped off as much of the paint as possible to return the furniture to its original condition.
When the city bought the house, the wallpaper was replaced with an exact copy of the flowered design. There are unique and beautiful lighting fixtures in the living room and bedroom that are well preserved. Up until a hailstorm in May 2018, the lead glass windows were original to the house.
Hand railings have been added to the front and back doors for convenience. The backyard is now community gardens and on the south side of the house is a delightful rose garden. The city maintains the house and ensures that the house and property are kept in its original condition (as near as possible). The wonder of this little home can only be appreciated by seeing it.
You can tour the Orum House at the Harvest Fest on Oct. 16, from 2 to 5 p.m., or set up an appointment with the History, Arts, Recreation, and Parks (HARP) Board by calling the Recreation Desk at 720-763-3011. Bobbie Schuppert is a resident of Edgewater.