The Joseph A. Thomas-Hazell property is also another resource that has fallen victim to demolition. After meeting with Legend Lake Partners, LLC. and Historic Denver, Inc. it was determined that the structure would not survive being moved to a different location.
In the same fashion as CPI’s reaction to the Willowcroft Manor & Farm documentation, CPI partnered with Historic Denver, Inc., History Colorado, and the Ethan James Foundation to also conduct basic measurements, and HABS level photography to gather as much information as possible to document the site before it is lost.
The Joseph A. Thomas-Hazell House also tells a story of Colorado’s pioneer history, but from an African-American perspective. Mr. Thomas-Hazell was very active in the community of Dearfield, even establishing a homestead of 320 acres.
Dearfield was an African-American dryland farming experiment of the early 20th century and was inspired by the philosophical teachings of Booker T. Washington. Success in the community was foiled by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Dearfield is now a National Historic District. Within Dearfield there was a boarding house and a store combined, built and maintained by Thomas-Hazell, a Reverend of the People’s Presbyterian Church of Denver at the time. Rev. Thomas-Hazell was the only Agrican-American preacher who took an active part in the establishment of Dearfield.
The preservation community came together to document Joseph A. Thomas-Hazell’s historically significant farmstead home, in the wake of an impending demolition. The fact that so many different entities worked together, and that the developers worked with us to push back the demolition date, serves as a testament to just how special this place was.