There are three levels of historic recognition that a property can receive – local, State and National. The requirements to be added to the National Register of Historic Places are more exacting and therefore much harder to achieve. But for the first time, the Loomis Addition neighborhood now has a National Register property — the Patterson House (known locally as the McMillen-Patterson House) at 121 N. Grant. It is also known colloquially as “the Raffle House.”
The one-and-a-half-story, Eastlake-style brick house was constructed in 1887 as a show home to entice people to buy lots in the Loomis Addition. Its design was based on Plate 73 of William Comstock’s Modern Architectural Designs and Details (1881), “Brick and Frame Cottage,” designed by Gould and Angell, architects from Providence, Rhode Island. The Patterson House is the earliest documented pattern-book house in Fort Collins, and the only building in Fort Collins known to be based on designs by the architectural firm of Gould and Angell.
Although not quite as elaborate as the plan it was based on, the Patterson House exhibits identifiable characteristics of the Eastlake style, a popular Victorian-era variation of the Queen Anne style, with its steeply pitched gable roof with multiple cross gables, restrained projections, boxy and cut-away bays, and repetitive decorative wood patterns especially in the gable ends and vergeboards. The house is the oldest remaining house in one of the earliest subdivisions (1887) in Fort Collins. In spite of multiple owners and the changes in living standards and conveniences in the 130 years since the house was built, the property still retains its historic character and architectural features.
The house is known as the “Raffle House” because Abner Loomis promised that everyone who purchased a lot within the Loomis Addition would receive a ticket. And once 200 lots had been sold, a winner would be chosen from among the ticket holders to become the lucky owner of this spec house. The drawing was held in the old Fort Collins Opera House on N. College. J. M. Fillebrown, of Geneva, Nebraska, won the house on May 11, 1888. He sold it to the Pattersons. Though Arthur (AKA “Billy”) passed away in 1892, the Patterson family continued to own the house until 1900.
Arthur Patterson had been a close friend of William H. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. The two of them met in Leavenworth, Kansas, and traveled to New Mexico together at the ages of 18 (Patterson) and 16 (Cody). Patterson headed north from New Mexico to Colorado where he established a livery and freighting business in Fort Collins by 1866. Cody returned to Leavenworth where he and Patterson had met. The two remained in contact afterward and Cody occasionally visited Patterson in Fort Collins. Though the newspapers mention when Cody would visit with Patterson, it doesn’t state where their meetings were held. But it’s very likely that Buffalo Bill Cody would be welcomed by his friend in his house, this house, at 121 N. Grant, right here in the Loomis Addition.
Information for this article was taken extensively from the “National Register of Historic Places Registration Form” for the Patterson house which was written by Mary Humstone and included research by Rheba Massey.