Old miner’s cabin on the move
Vail, CO Colorado
FRISCO ” After sitting for more than a year and a half on a temporary location, the historic Susan Badger house has been saved from demolition yet again.
A new owner is planning to give the Victorian miner’s cabin a permanent home ” directly across the street.
The little log house on Galena Street in Frisco was to be demolished in October 2005, but Charlotte Clarke, owner of the Frisco-based realty company 4 Sale By U, stepped in to save the house.
Clarke got homeowners down the street to let her store the house in their backyard. But they would only keep it until May.
“I was desperate ” I knew it was going to have to move or burn,” Clarke said. “But it occurred to me that I had all the addresses of owners on Galena, so I wrote and told them that we would be willing to move it for free if they would just agree to keep it.”
Clarke offered the Badger house for free, for use as a garage or storage unit. She got a response from Bob Kessler, who lives across the street from the cabin’s original site.
“I went over and looked at it, and I fell in love with it,” Kessler said. “The walls in this house talk ” they convinced me I should save it.”
Local history buffs have been anxious about preserving the house not only because it is a well-preserved example of a Victorian miner’s cabin, but also because of the lady who lived in it.
Susan Badger moved to Frisco in 1934, after the death of her fiancee. Invalided by tuberculosis and not expected to live, the young woman rallied in the mountain atmosphere and made Frisco her home until her death in 1972.
Throughout her life, she became a popular figure in the town, dispensing advice and hand-outs both personally and professionally in her role as county welfare director.
Fond of a hand of poker and a good cigar, Badger fit to perfection the image of the rugged pioneer woman. Badger lived in the little cabin on Galena Street for 35 years, and locals have always associated it with her.
Despite the passage of years, the house has retained its historical integrity. Inside, among the original floorboards, is a trapdoor leading to an ancient root-cellar. The cabin’s walls are papered with the original sheets of a Denver Post newspaper from 1905.
Kessler, a local businessman and entrepreneur who has lived in Frisco since 1999, said he wanted to save the house because of its fascinating link to Frisco’s historic past.
“I’ve been reading about Susan Badger, and so many people have told me that they have a lot of memories about this house,” he said. “Renovating it will be a cool little project, and I’m thrilled to be doing it.”
Kessler has a self-admitted penchant for recycling. When a new playground was built in Frisco, he installed the old swing set in his backyard. He also has salvaged fixtures and wood from homes that have been torn down in the neighborhood.
“I have half of Frisco in my back yard,” he said.
Kessler said he intends to preserve as much of the Badger cabin as he can. He plans to use it as a storage unit, but plans to allow locals and tourists to visit.
“It’s right in my back yard, and anybody’s welcome to come over and look at it,” he said.