The Duncan House, c.1913.
The "Duncan House" at 5503 South Prince Street in Littleton was built about 1906 or 1907 and was built on the northeast corner of Richard Little's original plat of the town. Joseph L. Hill was apparently the builder and perhaps the original owner. Not much is known of Joe Hill, except that he came to Colorado about 1875 and was here as late as 1909 when he was photographed with Judge Lewis B. Ames and Jesse Markle.
Frank and Louisa Duncan came to Colorado in 1890 and moved to Waterton in 1895. Mrs. Duncan ran a boarding house, and their children attended Platte Canyon School. In 1906 Mr. Duncan ran a restaurant on Main Street in Littleton. Perhaps it was about this time that the Duncans built or acquired the house at 5503 South Prince Street.
The Duncan House, 2015. Photo by Amelia Martinez.
The Duncan children were Fred C., Wilse, Harry, and Ralph. Several of them were outstanding athletes in Littleton High School. Later, Ralph became a carrier for the Littleton Post Office and in 1929 was the town's fire chief. Frank and Louisa and all their sons are buried in the Littleton Cemetery.
The Duncan House is typical of many turn-of-the-century frame homes and is in the Queen Anne style. The forward or facade facing gabled roof structure appears today much as it did when constructed in 1908. The gable is adorned with variegated decorative shingles and the porch supports include a modest amount of "ginger bread" ornamentation in the form of lace like brackets. The porch has a hipped roof that extends the full length of the facade. There is an attic window in the apex of the gable and a pair of double hung windows on the second story. On the south side there is a bay window with a gabled dormer. The house is wood lap siding with a brick foundation.
Inside the home the original floor and staircase still exist as do most of the original wood trim and window glass.
In 1992 and 1993, owners Vicki and Peggy Munroe renovated the interior and exterior of the building. The Littleton Historical Museum called it a premier example of how an historic building should be restored. It was featured on the cover of the Littleton Calendar in 1994, and designated an historic landmark by the city in April 1995. The Duncan House has remained a family residence throughout the years to the current time.
Barnes, Candice. An Architectural and Historical Building Survey: Inventory and Evaluation, Littleton, Colorado. Phase IV. Littleton, Colo.: Littleton Historical Museum, 1975.
City of Littleton. Littleton Calendar. Littleton, Colo.: The City, 1994.
Littleton Historical Museum. "City Boards and Programs: +++Historical Preservation Board. Duncan House, 5503 South Prince Street." Littleton, Colo.: The Museum, 1995.
Littleton Museum. Photographic Archives and Biography/Place Name Files.
Mount Rosa Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Littleton Cemetery. Littleton, Colorado. Littleton, Colo.: Mount Rosa Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1983.
Nippert, Stephen. An Architectural and Historical Building Survey: Inventory and Evaluation, Littleton, Colorado. Phase II. Littleton, Colo.: Littleton Historical Museum, 1973.
Littleton Museum Photographic Files
Littleton Independent, 4 March 1976
Colorado Historical Society, Inventory Record Form, July 1982
Littleton Historic Building Record and Evaluation, August 1975
Littleton City Directories, 1932, 1939 and 1953-1961
U.S. Census, 19208
Photographs courtesy of the Littleton Museum unless otherwise noted. To order copies, contact the museum at 303-795-3950.
Compiled by Doris Farmer Hulse
Edited by Kris Christensen, Colorado Digitization Project
Updated March 2021 by Phyllis Larison