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  • Amber Tueller

#History

Newcomb House


PHOTOS COURTESY OF DOUGLAS COUNTY LIBRARY ARCHIVES

The historic yellow house at 10965 S. Pikes Peak Drive in downtown Parker has always caught my eye. The home has a plaque out front designating it as a Parker historic landmark. It was built on a portion of land from George Parker’s original homestead. James Parker and his brother, George, were instrumental in establishing the town of Parker in the late 1800s.

James Newcomb visited a friend in Parker in 1909 and liked it well enough to come back to stay. Victoria Stover and her sister, Laura, came to Parker a few years earlier to teach school. James met and married Victoria in 1910. The Newcombs purchased land from George Parker for $150 and built their house in 1911, which consisted of the center portion of the existing home, facing south at the time. In 1911, the Newcombs also built a barbershop off Mainstreet. Once completed, they lived in the rear of the barbershop and rented out their house.



James was involved in the local orchestra, tended to his barbershop, and even started to publish the Parker Post with his brother, but this venture only lasted for about a year. Victoria became the postmaster for Parker in 1914 and continued there for 35 years. James traveled away from Parker quite often and eventually did not come back.

After both Victoria and her sister separated from their husbands, Laura came to live with Victoria in Parker. The barbershop became the post office, and the sisters lived in the rear of the shop together. In 1937, Victoria added the two side wings onto the home and had it turned to face east, looking onto Pikes Peak Drive. Victoria and Laura lived in the house off and on until Victoria’s death in 1965.

The home changed hands through the years. I had the opportunity to interview Weyland and Marsha Britt, who purchased the Newcomb home in the early 1990s from the Jerry Ratliff family. The Britts moved to Parker in 1981 when there was one swinging light over the intersection of Parker Road and Mainstreet. They built a home in east Parker and their children, two sons and one daughter, attended Pine Lane Elementary, Parker Junior High, and Ponderosa High School.

The 1400 square foot Newcombe house was a residence when the Britts purchased it for their engineering business offices, living off a very sulfur-laden, odiferous well with pumping capabilities. They had to tap into the sewer to obtain city water and fill the well. The Britts said the house had been in good shape when they bought it and most of the historic character remained.



Weyland and Marsha tried to keep it as historically accurate as the town would let them, now being commercial property. The Town of Parker helped with clearing away some of the large trees that fell during a storm.


The Episcopal Church also helped to contribute to some of the tree trimming and maintenance. On multiple occasions, the picket fence had to be repaired from treefall damage and an automobile run-through, both wood pickets and original cement finished brick pylons. Weyland often hired teenagers to repaint the fence.

With their contractor, Tony Mamos, they upgraded all the plumbing and electricity in the home and changed parts of the bathroom and kitchen to meet commercial codes. They also had to put some beams to support the upstairs and reroof the home and separate Model T garage. Weyland designed and Tony built a deck onto the back of the house for required wheelchair access and upstairs access.

Marsha described how she very lovingly remodeled the house, sanded and painted the mahogany woodwork, stripped the varnish off all the woodwork, and put in a tin ceiling in one room to cover up an old, cracked ceiling. She sanded, repaired, painted the plaster walls and stripped and refinished the original windows. She refinished the original oak and pine floors. She kept the very old lilac bushes believed to be planted by Victoria Newcomb, herself.

Keeping it historical was not an accident. It wasn’t easy. The Town of Parker tried to help with building codes and variations as much as possible. Friends at the fire department helped install smoke detectors that would ring straight to the firehouse, circumventing the need for ceiling sprinklers. In the mid-1990s, the Town of Parker approached the Britts and asked if they would like to designate it as historical property. In 1997, it was added to the Historic Registry List, and they received the home's plaque.

The Britts saw many changes from the quiet, private neighborhood when they first purchased the home to a noisy and lively Mainstreet in recent years. Through the years they welcomed the community during holiday events and home tours. When it came time to sell, they were careful to choose a buyer who was intent on saving the home. They know the importance of keeping a historical building on its original foundation to preserve and protect it, and they put so much love and effort into keeping the home in good repair.

The current owners bought the home at the end of 2022 to use as a residence. They have cleared the trees and foliage from much of the property and updated the paint on both buildings, as well as updated and made repairs inside. They have enjoyed living close to the hustle and bustle. This historic gem needs to be preserved and appreciated by the community. We give gratitude to those who have cared for it.

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