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Queen of Heaven Orphanage Summer Camp - Golden, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 42.209 W 105° 13.572
13S E 480608 N 4394872
Quick Description: Now the Mother Cabrini Shrine, this location was once a summer retreat for orphan girls from Denver.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 12/5/2012 12:42:24 PM
Waymark Code: WMFVXY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 4

Long Description:
" In 1909 -1910, she negotiated the purchase of this property as a summer camp for her charges at the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in Denver, CO. A farming operation, with poultry, other livestock and dairy cows, was established and maintained by three of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who set up living quarters in the loft of the larger barn. During the summer months, groups of about twenty girls, according to age, would spend several weeks at the summer camp. They enjoyed the freedom of the outdoors and recreational activities in addition to tending the animals and performing farm chores.

It was during Mother Cabrini’s last visit to the foothills in 1912 that she and a builder, Thomas Eckrom, drew up the plans for the Stone House that would serve as a dormitory for the girls. The house was to be built of native rock. She called the sisters who were with her and said, “daughters, I dropped my cane… go back and find it. Where you find it make a sign with stones because that is where the house is to be built.” The cane was on a level spot overlooking the city of Denver. Each evening the girls would load a cart, drawn by a donkey, with stones from a nearby quarry for the next day’s building activity. The construction of the Stone House commenced in the fall of 1912 and was finally completed in 1914. The house was used as a summer camp for the girls from the Queen of Heaven orphanage. The ground floor of the Stone House has the chapel, sleeping quarters for the supervising Sisters, a living room, an entry area with main staircase, a back staircase, and several small utility areas which remain basically unchanged. The second and third floors were open dormitory areas. Upon the closing of the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in 1967, the summer camp became a year around retreat facility, and a place for small prayer gatherings. Today, the Stone House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Colorado Historical Society has granted over $138,000 to restore and renovate the Stone House. Extensive work has been done to the roof, windows, electrical system and wood work." (from (visit link) )

"In 1904, Mother Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters purchased a large farm house and several acres of land at West 48th Avenue and Federal Boulevard in North Denver. The recycled farm opened in 1905 as the Queen of Heaven Orphanage for girls aged two to fifteen. Queen of Heaven soon reached its capacity of 160 orphans, and in 1920 a magnificent new buff brick orphanage opened its doors. This large, neoclassical structure graced the Denver skyline with an electrically illuminated statue of the Queen of Heaven atop the lofty tower. The orphanage was reorganized in 1965 as a private elementary boarding school for girls and renamed the Saint Cabrini Memorial Private School. In January 1957, the Queen of Heaven Orphanage sold sixteen of its forty-three lots to the Colorado Highway Department for construction of interstate highway 70. Twelve years later, the home and school closed and were demolished. Mother Cabrini became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1909. While spending much of her time in Chicago and New York, she made several visits to Denver's Mount Carmel parish and Queen of Heaven Orphanage. She also toured mining towns, where many Italian immigrants worked ten or twelve hours a day underground. Defying superstitions against allowing women inside mines, she rode cage hoists down into the depths to bring a message of salvation: "My good brothers, we come down into the bowels of the earth to you in the name of Your Creator, He Who pines for your filial love."

On a 1912 visit to Denver, Mother Cabrini packed up her nuns for a picnic in the mountains. The captain at the firehouse on Tejon Street, if one of many North Denver folktales about Mother Cabrini is true, regularly took the sisters for such Sunday outings. When accused of using the fire department horses for these excursions, the chief supposedly replied, "As long as Mother Cabrini is with our fire horses, there never has been or never will be a fire in North Denver."

Upon reaching Mount Vernon Canyon, Mother Cabrini and some of the sisters climbed up the highest hill in sight. Overwhelmed with the splendid view of Denver and the Front Range, the sisters gathered white stones and arranged them in the shape of a heart to represent the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Inspired by the outing, Mother Cabrini somehow managed to buy the 900-acre hilltop site. She was warned there was no water but, according to legend, moved a rock to uncover a still-flowing stream of artesian water, which served the summer home for orphan girls that Mother Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters constructed." by Thomas Noel, (visit link) .
Street address:
20189 Cabrini Blvd.
Golden, CO USA

County / Borough / Parish: Jefferson

Year listed: 2000

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924, 1875-1899

Historic function: Agriculture/Subsistence, Domestic

Current function: Religion

Privately owned?: yes

Hours of operation: From: 7:00 AM To: 5:00 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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