Devoted family man and visionary businessman.
John Brisben Walker is personally responsible for the way much of the front range looks in this area. In his quest for the perfect place to build a home for his family, he preserved thousands of acres of land around Morrison. As a well-rounded businessman he launched many projects in the Denver area. All of these ventures continue to impact people who live and play here now.
The ruins you see here are the remains of a grand home belonging to John B. Walker. A self-made millionaire by 1905, he purchased more than four thousand acres of land in this area, including what is now Mount Falcon Park. Tragedy struck the Walker family in 1916 when Mrs. Walker died. Lightning struck the Walker home and it burned down in 1918, forcing John to leave the area. These ruins are only the foundation of the magnificent craftsman-style chalet that once stood here. His vision of preserving large pieces of land eventually became the foundation for Denver Mountain Parks and Jefferson County Open Space.
As well as preserving the land you are now standing on, Walker was a successful businessman in the greater Denver area. He boosted farming in Colorado by introducing irrigated alfalfa as a crop, developed an area known as 'Riverfront Park' in downtown Denver, complete with a racetrack
and a Castle of Commerce featuring art, agricultural and mineral displays, and a theater and he made investments in the Stanley Steamer steam-powered automobile. He also owned and edited Cosmopolitan magazine and made it a voice for progressive ideas.
Left bottom photo caption: This home was built for his wife Ethel and their children, with construction starting in 1909. Walker's family and servants stop to pose during construction in what would become the courtyard.
Middle bottom photo caption: Walker's sons in front of the tower and north wing of the house as it neared completion. His daughter Nathalia stated that the mansion, built by stonemasons from Italy included ten bedrooms, a music room, observation deck eight fireplaces, a library and servants quarters.
Right bottom photo caption: The mansion was struck by lightning and burned in 1918. Soon after that, John Walker left Colorado for good. This photo is of the north side of the home.
Background Image: Walker mansion after completion