Tucker Cabin Historic Structure Assessment

Tucker Cabin Historic Structure Assessment

In June 2022, History Colorado’s State Historical Fund awarded Parks & Open Space a $13,500 grant to complete a historic structure assessment for the 1871 cabin on the Tucker Open Space located west of the Town of Nederland.

Project Updates


  • June: State Historical Fund awards grant to complete historic structure assessment.
  • August: Historic structure assessment bid released to qualified contractors.
  • Aug. 31: Project awarded to Form+Works Design Group.
  • Nov. 8: Form+Works project onsite kick off meeting with History Colorado.
  • Nov. 14-18: Architect and engineer onsite analysis completed.
  • Dec. 31 : Anticipated draft historic structure assessment completed.
  • Alred Tucker
  • Tucker Cabin
  • Tucker Cabin from Northwest
  • Tucker Cabin from the south
  • Tucker cabin from the southeast

A historic structure assessment is an in-depth physical examination of a historic building’s condition conducted by a professional team that includes a licensed architect and a structural engineer. A historic structure assessment is comprised of historic background research about the building, examination of all its structural components (e.g., foundation, framing, walls, and roofing), examination of the building systems (e.g., mechanical and electrical systems), interior and exterior finishes, the presence or absence of hazardous materials, Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, and building and zoning code compliance.

Upon completion of the building examinations, assessments, and historic background research, the project architect prepares a historic structure assessment report that also includes a preservation plan prioritizing the work necessary for the preservation and reuse of the building along with preliminary cost estimates. Illustrations and photo documentation are a requisite component of a historic structure assessment. All work associated with the historic structure assessment must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

The Tucker historic structure assessment project embodies the county’s long-standing vision to preserve the rural character and cultural resources of unincorporated Boulder County through the identification of significant historic properties in order to protect them from destruction or harmful alteration.

The Tucker cabin is an important enduring symbol of the Nederland area’s European American history. Alfred Tucker was born on November 30, 1820, in Tennessee. Like many others, Tucker was lured to the West, most likely because of the discovery of gold in Colorado, and he made his way to Denver City in May 1859, which was then part of the Kansas Territory. Tucker’s arrival, along with 17 others from Clinton County, Illinois, on May 28, is noted in the Rocky Mountain News.

Although most often identified as a farmer or rancher in public records and newspaper articles, Tucker’s name is also linked to numerous Boulder County mining location claims that include the Sampson, Flagg, Ross, Grand Tasora, Plow Boy, Nellie Grey, and Sitting Bull lodes.

Tucker, and his wife, Margaret, amassed substantial agricultural land holdings in Jefferson, Boulder, and Larimer counties during their lifetime. The 324 acres of land surrounding the Tucker cabin is referred to as the “Mountain Ranch” in Margaret Tucker’s Decree of Final Settlement after her death in 1905.

Evidence suggests that the Mountain Ranch remained a secondary property to the Jefferson County “Home Ranch” where the Tucker family resided.

The Mountain Ranch remained in the Tucker family for the next 148 years, most likely serving as a livestock ranch, as a place to harvest peat, and a summer residence for the family.

Upon his death at the Home Ranch on June 15, 1880, Alfred Tucker was identified as one of the oldest citizens of Jefferson County. Tucker was originally buried in a little grove along Ralston Creek near or on the Home Ranch, before high waters eroded the creek bank and threatened his grave and several other nearby graves. Out of caution, the Tucker family exhumed Alfred’s body around January 30, 1893, and reburied him at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

Boulder County purchased the 324-acre Tucker property from the M.A. Tucker Investment Company on October 7, 2020, and the Board of County Commissioner’s landmarked the cabin and outbuildings in 2021 for their historic significance.

The State Historical Fund is a statewide grants program that was created by the 1990 constitutional amendment allowing limited gaming in the towns of Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk. The constitutional amendment directs that a portion of the gaming tax revenues be used for historic preservation projects throughout the state. State Historical Fund grants are distributed throughout the State of Colorado through a competitive application process. All projects must demonstrate strong public benefit and community support.

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