The haunted Peabody-Whitehead Mansion
1128 Grant Street
New Home for MEGA 1031 and Malbur Properties, LLC Historic Denver Mansion
March 15, 2006---Malbur Exchange Group & Associates (MEGA 1031) and Malbur Properties, LLC have purchased
Denver’s historic Peabody-Whitehead Mansion located along what was once known as “Millionaires Row” near the
Colorado Capitol Building. The building will serve as home to the two companies with additional space available for
The 3-story brick mansion, designated as a Denver Historic Landmark, was built in 1889. Renowned architect Frank
Edbrooke, designer of Denver’s beloved Brown Palace hotel, created the mansion’s craftsman-style plan. The 6,635
square foot home was constructed for $15,000.
The mansion served for two years as the state’s governor’s residence during the turbulent tenure of Governor James
Peabody. It was also home for William Riddick Whitehead who served as a battlefield surgeon during both the bloody
Russian Crimean War and the American Civil War. In subsequent years, the building was converted to a boarding
house. Several restaurants and bars also occupied the mansion in the 1980s. In 1990s, the Peabody-Whitehead
Mansion was purchased by Richard R. Arber Associates, an engineering firm which meticulously renovated the
structure into office spaces.
Malbur Properties, LLC acquired the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion through a tax-deferred real estate exchange.
Previously, Malbur Properties, LLC and MEGA 1031 were located at 1633 Filmore Street, Denver.
The Peabody-Whitehead Mansion is known as one of Denver’s haunted mansions. The staff at MEGA 1031 and
Malbur Properties, LLC have noticed a few unusual events such as mysteriously falling books, numbers repeatedly
appearing by themselves on a calculator in a locked office and staff have occasionally come upon inexplicably
disheveled papers. Previous tenants and professional ghost hunters have also reported numerous eerie sightings
Clients of MEGA 1031 and Malbur Properties, LLC are always welcome to visit our offices to see if they can glimpse
any of these spooky inhabitants!
Peabody-Whitehead Mansion Haunted History
June 11, 2006--Although we here at MEGA 1031 look forward to speaking with our wonderful clients everyday,
another adventure---unusual and sometimes curious---also awaits us at our historic office building.
As some of you may know, the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion is reportedly filled with a dozen or so ghosts. As a result
we are always on the look out for supernatural events. Inexplicably, books have mysteriously fallen from shelves in
empty rooms and paperwork has strangely re-arranged itself. We’ve even heard an occasional faint baby’s cry,
however; none of us have actually spotted any cloudy spirits lurking in our offices.
The haunting rumors began immediately after construction when Doctor William Riddick Whitehead and his
family took up residence in the mansion. Whitehead had performed surgery in the blood-soaked Russian Crimean
and U.S. Civil Wars. The Crimean War is known as one of the dirtiest and deadliest in modern world history due to
atrocious medical treatment aggravated by a sweeping cholera epidemic. The number of battlefield soldiers dying
while in Whitehead’s medical care mounted during the American Civil War. Among those who died after undergoing
Whitehead’s surgical knife was Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Some believe the traumatized
spirits of Whitehead’s battlefield patients followed him to Denver from New York.
Besides the war dead that are believed to haunt 1128 Grant Street, some suggest that the ghostly inhabitants linger
from the occupancy of Governor James Peabody. Peabody’s two-year term as governor featured plenty of chaos and
disorder, thanks to often-violent strikes in the state’s many mining communities. Peabody repeatedly declared martial
law and sent in the militia which rounded up striking miners when it wasn’t brutally attacking local newspaper offices.
In the mid-1950s, the Peabody-Whitehead mansion was transformed into apartments before eventually being
remodeled into a series of restaurants and nightclubs. Reports of ghostly visitations picked up after 1970 when
restaurants such as the Carriage Inn, Bentley’s, La Scala, the Bombay Club, the BBC, Albies and Señor Peabody’s
occupied the mansion. Restaurant owners were constantly perplexed by trays mysteriously tipping over as well as
dishes and glassware suddenly breaking. Upon occasion, guests and employees reported seeing knives, forks, pots
and pans flying around the kitchen and dining areas. Customers and employees were also besieged by the ringing of
disconnected servants’ bells and phones, and the occasional unexpected flashing of the disco lights.
One of the strangest occurrences during this time period involves a flickering chandelier. One restaurant manager
called an electrician to fix the annoyance. After studying the wiring, the perplexed electrician said he could do nothing
as the chandelier wasn’t hooked up to any electrical wiring!
Seeking to take advantage of the Peabody-Whitehead mansion’s haunted reputation one entrepreneur opened a bar
named Spirits on Grant Street on Halloween 1983. That business was forced to close within the year. One of
the more colorful stories from that era was of a ghost who reportedly poured a bottle of beer down the shirt of a cook
who had disparaged homosexuals.
In the 1970s and again, three decades later, owners brought in psychics, parapsychologists and camera crews to
discover more about the spirits. One of the investigative teams reported that a young woman named Eloise, or Ella,
haunted the second floor. The team suggested that she may have died after being abandoned by her fiancé. Some
visitors say they’ve seen her image hovering in mirrors. A few men have also reported glimpsing her in the men’s
Futhermore, the mansion’s creepy basement may be the home of more than one restless spirit including that of a
restaurant waitress who hung herself with her apron from the basement’s overhead pipes one night after closing.
Another spirit reportedly occupies the first floor women’s bathroom. It’s believed that it’s the ghost of an older
gentleman whose cherry scented pipe tobacco haunts the bathroom. The nauseatingly strong cherry odor comes and
goes with puzzling regularity.
Thankfully, Matthew Arber, who headed the renovation work for Arber and Associates, believes most of the mansion’s
spirits are benevolent. According to Matthew, visiting psychics have told him the ghosts are grateful for his thoughtful
care during the home’s restoration.
Please feel free to come by for a short tour of at the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion! Clients of MEGA 1031 and Malbur
Properties, LLC are always welcome. Perhaps you’ll be able to glimpse one of our spooky officemates!
History Behind The Peabody Mansion
Dr. William R. Whitehead was the original owner of what is now know as the Whitehead/Peabody Mansion and the
offices of Richard P. Arber Associates Consulting Engineers. He was born in 1831 to a wealthy and aristocratic family
in Suffolk, Virginia. After studying medicine in the United States, he moved to Paris to study French and then
moved to Vienna where he volunteered to serve as a surgeon in the Russian Army during the Crimean War. After
spending numerous years in Europe, he settled in New York to continue his medical career.
At the beginning of the Civil War, he returned to his true heritage in the South where he served as a surgeon in the
Confederate Army. In 1872, following the Civil War, he moved to Denver due to his wife's poor health. He was able to
quickly rise to be one of Denver's leading citizens. In 1874 be was elected to the Denver City Council. He soon
became the chairman of the Denver Board of Health. In addition to his social and political prominence, Dr. Whitehead
was also an early leader of Denver's medical community. He published numerous medical journals, and in 1877, he
was elected President of the Denver Medical Association. By 1889, when he commissioned the construction of his
house on Grant, he was a well established Denver citizen. By the time he lived on Grant he was in retirement until his
death in 1902.
James H. Peabody, a Republican businessman from Canon City, was elected Governor of Colorado in 1903. At this
time, Colorado did not have an official Governor's mansion, so Peabody set out to find a residence in Denver.
Peabody took residence in 1128 Grant during his term in office; however was only known to live there during 1903
and 1904. As Governor, Peabody played a pivotal role in the violent clash between forces for and
against unionization of Colorado's miners. "Peabodyism" became the principle issue in the 1904 election between
Peabody and Alva Adams, who had served two previous terms. Adams won the election and was inaugurated, but
political intrigue resulted in the Republican legislature declaring that Peabody had won. Peabody served one day
before resigning on March 17, 1905 to be succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Jesse F. McDonald.
Frank E. Edbrooke built the Whitehead/Peabody Mansion in 1889. Edbrooke is also known for the Brown Palace
Hotel, the Central Presbyterian Church, the Tabor Opera House, and the Sisters of Loretto Academy.
His architectural stature has resulted in a recent revival of sorts of his popularity and the naming of a newly renovated
projects in Lower Downtown in his honor. The house itself is architecturally noteworthy. Its design is robust but clean
in proportion and detail, and is representative of an important progressive sensibility for its time in its similarity to the
contemporary Arts and Crafts Movement. The architecture of the house employs the massive masonry walls and
chimneys and steeply pitched roof of an English county house. It has a generous porch and formally
organized facade that address the street. The front wall is subtly articulated with a tall, narrow slot and a flat arch in
the brick work. Edbrooke was commissioned to do the house by one of Denver's early leaders, which was later
occupied by one of Colorado's most controversial Governors.
Cameron, Bradley W. "Architectural and Historical Importance of the Whitehead/Peabody House." Denver: Capitol Hill
United Neighborhoods. February 26, 1991: pages 1-6.
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