Genevieve Era
1914 - 1939

In 1914, Genevieve Chandler Phipps decided she had spent enough time traveling and living in hotel suites. Her father, C.H. Chandler, had been a top executive at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company and a key developer in the “White City” Amusement Park in Bellingham, Washington. After his death in 1910, he bequeathed a substantial inheritance to Genevieve, his only child.

This inheritance, added to the lofty stipend she received annually from the 1904 divorce settlement with ex-husband and steel mogul, Lawrence Cowle Phipps (later Colorado Senator from 1918 to 1931), made 34 year old Genevieve an extremely wealthy woman. She purchased 1000 acres on Upper Bear Creek Road as site for the retreat and permanent home she intended to build for herself and her two daughters during their boarding school breaks. The property seemed ideal – pristine and private but not far from the fledgling logging community of Evergreen and slightly over an hour’s drive from Denver.

"a 'titian-haired' beauty with bright turquoise eyes."

Married at 18 and divorced by 25, she was a prominent Denver socialite, circulating with only the city’s elite and often seen driving in a luxurious 1914 Model 34 Marmon automobile, custom painted the identical auburn hue of her hair. Credit: Roberts Family Collection
Genevieve had a particular style in mind for her new home. After locating the property with spectacular views of Mounts Evans and Bierstadt, she commissioned renowned Denver architect Maurice Biscoe and noted Scottish carpenter, Jock Spence, to construct the year round residence she envisioned. It would not be a simple job, but she knew both men’s work: Biscoe had designed Denver’s pristine St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral and the mansion of Denver Post matron, Helen Bonfils.
Jock Spence enjoyed local acclaim in Evergreen for construction of Camp Neosho for wealthy Civil War widow, Mary Neosho Williams, and the Elbert-Austin Ranch, a summer retreat for relatives of Colorado’s Territorial Governor, John Evans and Governor Sam Elbert. Credit: J.C.H.S., Hiwan Homestead Museum, #1537
Genevieve named her 1916 construction-in-progress, “Camp Greystone,” after the coined term of the day for luxury properties. The home would be far from a “camp,” with the elegance and feel of a fine Adirondack mansion combining with a mountain rustic style. Credit: Jefferson County Historical Society, Hiwan Homestead Museum, #6962
Greystone construction was completed in 1917 and Genevieve proved a masterful hostess. She often entertained through the 1920s Prohibition Era with elaborate weekend parties and formal luncheons. With 12,000 sq. ft. of living space in the Manor, in addition to several guest houses and servant quarters, prominent guests such as Utah mining millionaire, Samuel Newhouse and wife Ida, often stayed a week or more.
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