Aspen Colorado is well known throughout the world as one of the prime ski resort areas. The area initially pulled in settlers due to the large silver boom. Mining towns cropped up throughout Colorado and the area began producing riches for wealthy investors. An area that was once nothing more than run down mines was now a rich and highly sought after land.
Henry Webeber was one such investor. In the 1880s, Henry brought his wife Harriet to the area. At the time, she was one of only thirteen women in the mining town. She and her husband worked as shoe merchants, fixing and selling clothes and shoes. Their wealth quickly grew as Henry became involved with mining investments in the mining camp.
Unfortunately, Harriet did not get to relish in their success for long. She met a controversial end when she died of an overdose in 1881. Over the counter tranquilizers, commonly used by inhabitants of the town for stress relief, were found near her body. Her last words were “Henry will know.” Speculation began to spread that the death was either a murder or suicide in response to Henry’s sordid affairs with Harriet’s niece, Julia.
The rumors only spread more quickly and became more embellished when Henry married Julia just a few weeks after Harriet’s death. Despite the rumors, Henry was prominent in the town and was named city treasurer and later the Mayor of Aspen. Rumors continued to circulate that Henry had instead abandoned Harriet with a house full of children when he ran away with Julia to seek wealth and notoriety.
Despite Henry’s success, he could never actually enjoy it. When Henry used his wealth to build Pioneer Park with Julia at his side, they may have started building alone, but did not end that way. Julia and Henry quickly discovered a “presence” in their home. They commonly heard foot steps on the roof and in the home. Windows and doors would open and slam shut on their own. There was also an overwhelming feeling of sadness in certain places throughout the Henry Webber house.
Some say that the bad energy came as a result of Pioneer Park having been built on an old cemetery. The cemetery was moved before Pioneer Park was built as it had fallen into great disrepair and neglect. Others blamed another source for the troubles in the house- the former lady, Harriet Webber.
Things commonly went missing or were moved. Julia was plagued with great depression and despite her many attempts, could not get pregnant or produce an heir for Henry. She was commonly found sitting and staring out the upper windows of the home. Rumors quickly spread around the town that she was mad and stories circulated about Julia talking to herself.
When Henry died in 1911, the home was sold to a blacksmith and his family. They had similar experiences in the home. So did the owners who purchased the home in 1944. It was eventually added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. It is the only intact home in Aspen built in second empire architectural style. It is also the only home still frequented by the spirit of a wife driven mad by the selfish dealings of the wealthy Henry Webber.