• Home
  • McAllister Foundation
  • State Historic Fund Grant: Foundation Stabilization and Masonry Restoration
  • Visit Museum
  • History
  • Teas and Events
  • Carriage House
  • Educational Tours
  • Become Involved
  • Links
  • Latest News
  • Photo Gallery
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Privacy Policy


  • We are looking forward to the upcoming Christmas Teas and Tours, my daughter is finally old enough to enjoy what my mother and I call a yearly tradition.
    Kris S.

    Beyond the Lacy Curtains

    October 6th, 2010


    Another of our docent’s comments (thank you Emily):
    Henry McAllister and William Palmer were born three days apart in the same Quaker Community in Delaware in 1836. Both young men joined the 15th Pennsylvania Volunteer Calvary and fought bravely in the civil war. When the War ended Palmer came out west and called on the men of the 15th Calvary to assist him in the construction of a new Settlement.

    As his best friend went west, Henry returned home to marry his local sweetheart. Henry and Elizabeth McAllister were married January 17, 1866 by the mayor of Philadelphia.  Now, at the time Philadelphia was a hopping place! It was the city of the World’s Fair and was the hub of culture and sophistication. If Mrs. McAllister wished she could walk two blocks from her city home and fetch exotic fruit and ice cream in one trip! To think that they left all that behind to come to a desolate, God-forsaken place overrun by hostiles (Eastern perspective).

    Soon after Major  McAllister stepped off the train he witnessed the ferocity of the WILD west that was so unlike civilized Philadelphia. A gale strength wind blew through the station and blew over the train! After seeing this- Major McAllister insisted that his house be secure…and so the cottage he built has 3″ steel rods bolting the basement to the roof and the exterior walls are 16″ thick (the standard for modern homes is 6″-8″). Many joke that it was the first house standing in Colorado Springs and it will be the last one standing.

    I muse over the histories I’ve learned working in this charming cottage as I look out the lacy curtains from the master bedroom. Here in this room I am safe, warm and cozy. I am surrounded by grand pieces of furniture, fine china and intricately embroidered textiles. The cottage truly is a time machine. But when I look out the window I can see the bank behind the property. A man who’s just used the ATM has thrown his receipt onto the ground and greedily slurps the soda in his hands. Another man in tattered clothes wanders the alley behind the house clutching a cardboard sign. I don’t have to read it to know what it says…something along the lines of “Out of work. Need help.” The world outside this beautiful cottage is so much different than the world inside. The Colorado Springs the McAllisters nurtured has drastically changed. Perhaps I should go outside and join the man with a sign of my own: “Lost Hope. Seeking common ground between past and present.”

    Posted in Events | Comments (0)


    Leave a Reply: