Edgeplain (Arthur House)
Edgeplain, also known as the Arthur House, is a historic building used as a dormitory on the Colorado College campus. Arthur House, now a small dormitory on the Colorado College campus, was home to Chester Alan Arthur II, son of President Chester A. Arthur. It was first built by Lyman Bass, a successful attorney who partnered with Grover Cleveland and worked for William Jackson Palmer's Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Colorado College bought the house to include it within their campus. Arthur House was used as a men's, and then coed, dormitory. About 20 students live in the dormitory on the western part of the campus that has a combination of rooms for 1, 2 or 3 people. It has living, kitchen and recreational space.
Backstory and Context
Lyman Kidder Bass was an attorney, in practice with Grover Cleveland, was a U.S. Representative, all in the state of New York. In 1874, Bass married Frances Metcalfe of Buffalo. He moved to Colorado Springs in the hope of improving his health after having contracted tuberculosis. While in the city he became an attorney for Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, General William Jackson Palmer's company. He died in New York City in May 1889. Francis sold the home following her husband's death; It was owned by several people before it was purchased by Chester Alan Arthur and his wife.
Between 1901 and 1922, the home belonged to Chester Alan Arthur II, son of President Chester A. Arthur. After Alan Arthur and his wife Myra purchased the home, they had it expanded and remodeled by Thompson Hetherington and Walter Douglas, prominent local architects who built Colorado College residential halls. Their home was "one of the outstanding meetings places of the social leaders from Colorado Springs and Denver. Arthur was called "the Prince of Washington" for the way he made the most of being the son of the President, such as attending receptions and using the presidential yacht and car. After attending Princeton University, he studied law at Columbia University. After graduation he went to Europe and stayed there for 10 years, before he took the bar examination. He married wealthy divorcee Myra Fithian Andrews in May 1900 in Switzerland. Like Lyman Bass, in October 1900, Arthur and his bride came to Colorado for his health; he had asthma and bronchitis. His health improved in the Colorado climate. He was made president of Cheyenne Mountain Country Club. Polo became a favored sport as the result of top polo players to the area. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt came to Colorado Springs, he had dinner at Edgeplain and attended a polo match during his 1901 visit.
Fannie and Oklahoma businessman, Joseph Abraham, bought the furnished house in 1922 to be their summer home for $30,000. Between 1926 and 1927 the Phi Delta Theta fraternity inhabited the house. Joseph died and Fannie Abraham sold the house to Charlotte and John Shaver in 1929. He was owner of a department store chain from Minnesota to Washington and Oregon and sold his interests in 1927 to J. C. Penney Company. Charlotte was a gardener and studied painting. John was a businessman who worked until 1943. Charlotte and John both died in 1960. Their daughters sold the home to Colorado College in 1962.
"Arthur House". Colorado College Historic Walking Tour. Archived from the original
"Arthur Family Papers" (PDF). Library of Congress. p. 5.