Backstory and Context
Named after C.W. Little, who donated the northern 40 acres, Little Park was among Denver’s early mountain parks. The rest of the acreage was acquired from the U.S. Forest Service.
The original version of its unique wellhouse, probably designed by J.J.B. Benedict, had a cupola topping the roof. This octagonal wellhouse was reconstructed during the 1930s by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers under the guidance of the National Park Service. Its distinctive cupola was removed and adjacent parking areas along what was then the main roadway were redesigned.
CCC men accomplished other work in the park, building trails, picnic areas, and a log bridge across the creek. Much of this was renovation was eliminated during the 1938 flood of Bear Creek Canyon, which also destroyed several bridges from Morrison to Idledale.
In 1939, because of the extensive flood damage, Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers rebuilt the roadway high above the creek to prevent future flood damage. The walls they built remain supporting Highway 74 today.
In Spring 2018 the HistoriCorps crew will be restoring the Little Park Wellhouse, visit www.historicorps.org to find out how you can support this project.