Located at 409 East Cleveland Street in Lafayette, the Miller House was the longtime home of town founder Mary Miller. In 1983 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the one-story house remains a private, single-family residence.
Mary Miller named Lafayette after her husband, Lafayette Miller, with whom she came to Colorado from Iowa in 1863. The couple operated a stage station along the Overland Trail before moving in 1871 to the future site of Lafayette, where they started a farm. In 1874 they moved to Boulder, but after Lafayette died suddenly in 1878, Mary returned to the farm with her children.
In 1888 Miller platted the 150-acre townsite of Lafayette on her land to house coal miners. Coal had been discovered on her 1,280-acre farm in 1884, and mining operations started in 1887. The town’s first houses were built in July 1888, and the town was incorporated in 1889. Miller’s oldest son, Thomas, became the first mayor. Miller herself retained a strong influence over the town for many years. She helped build Lafayette’s Congregational Church, became president of Lafayette Bank, and included a covenant prohibiting the sale of liquor on all town lots.
Located in the heart of what is now Old Town Lafayette, Miller’s house was a one-story residence with board siding, bay windows on the east and west sides, and stained-glass windows on the east side. Originally built around the time of the town’s establishment and incorporation, it was enlarged in 1902 with an addition on the north side. Miller lived in the house until her death in 1921.
In 1977 the house’s owners modernized and updated the building by replacing the siding and windows, rebuilding the porch, and installing sliding doors in place of the stained-glass windows.