J. D. Hill General Store

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Littleton's first general store, the Julius D. Hill General Store
The J.D. Hill General Store, c.1957

One of the earliest buildings in Littleton was the J. D. Hill General Store. Built in 1872, it was Littleton's first general store and post office, with Hill serving as postmaster. Fraternal organizations, churches and town government used the second floor meeting hall. S. Rapp Street and Main were part of the original road from Denver to Santa Fe, making Hill's store a convenient stop for travelers.

The wood clapboard, two-story vernacular building has had many alterations over the years. After its use as a general store it was converted into two residences in 1902. The building was rehabilitated again in 1965, with the assistance of the Littleton Historical Society. In that rehabilitation the large first floor windows were added as well as the shutters on the facade. The porch with shed roof was also reconstructed in 1965. It is not clear if the porch was an original feature to the store. The building has a gable roof and two side flat roofed additions. The three evenly spaced chimneys are constructed of corbelled brick. The building now has two storefront entries.

 Hill General Store 2015
The J.D. Hill General Store, 2015.  Photo by Amelia Martinez.

 

Hill traveled to Littleton tempted by the reports of the great opportunities in the West. For a time he worked at the Rough and Ready Flour Mill before opening the store. Hill was also a partner and director of the First National Bank during its successful years. The building served as Town Hall after Littleton's incorporation until a building was constructed on Main Street.

Today the building, located at 5738 S Rapp Street, is used as retail stores and offices.

 

 

 

Bibliography

Front Range Research Associates, 1997 Inventory, Littleton Historic Buildings, Inventory Record for the J. D. Hill General Store, Colorado Cultural Resource Survey Inventory Form 5AH236.

Inventory Sources:
Arapahoe County Assessors Records
Littleton Museum Files
Littleton Independent, October 25, 1963; September 3, 1965; July 3, 1966; May 15, 1986
Waring, Houstoun, Houses Littleton (Littleton: Littleton Independent, 1981), Chapters 1 and 21.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1893-1949

McQuarie, Robert and Bucholtz, W. W., Littleton (Littleton: Littleton Historical Museum, 1990), page 23.

Bemis, Edwin, "Frontier Littleton", Brand Book of the Denver Westerners, vol. 2 (Denver: Denver Westerners, 1965) page 38.

Photographs courtesy of the Littleton Museum unless otherwise noted. To order copies, contact the museum at 303-795-3950.

 

Compiled by Kris Christensen, Colorado Digitization Project

Last revised May 2017