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Margaret O'Gorman House

Margaret O'Gorman House8198 Irving Street (Click for Map)Historic photo of O'Gorman Boarding House

Built in 1910 for Margaret O'Gorman to house students from Westminster University, Margaret and her mother came to town from Ridgeway, Colorado, because they had formerly lived in a college town in Missouri and liked the atmosphere. The house was built with a bathroom, which was unusual as there was no water system at the time.  Almost immediately after the first nine students moved in, one came down with smallpox. The other eight were moved to the president's home (Pattison Bungalow) while her house was quarantined. However, the president's home was not finished and had no windows. One of the boys there caught a sore throat, and after moving back into O'Gorman's house, caught diphtheria. Everyone had to move back out again. Finally, Dr. Russell hung sheets all over the house and it was disinfected with formaldehyde, and the boarding house was again open for business.  Margaret and her mother carried water from the university to the boarding house each day.  In 1911 she was one of the signers of the petition to incorporate Harris.  She believed that incorporation would lead to a water system that would serve her house.


Locally Landmarked Margaret O'Gorman HouseThe house is significant in the area of education for its role in providing housing for the newly opened Westminster University. Housing was extremely scarce at this time, due to its distance from Denver and as the Village of Harris was extremely small. A women's dormitory was planned, but the male students were responsible for finding their own housing. O'Gorman's boarding house was the primary source of housing for male students at Westminster University. In the area of architecture, it is significant as a rare (for Westminster) example of a Princess Anne house, with its steeply pitched roof, modified corner tower, and full width front porch. These simple details reflect the economic status of its owner and its role as a boarding house.  The house was built from a predesigned kit  ordered from the Sears Catalog

The O’Gorman House was found to be field-eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 and would also contribute to a local or national historic district in the neighborhood if one were established. 






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