The Thomas House is a Queen Anne Victorian that was moved 3.5 miles to a vacant lot in April 1995 and renovated in 1995 and 1996. The home sat vacant and was uninhabitable for many years prior to its relocation. The Thomas House was the home of Anna Waneka Thomas (1855-1935), daughter of 1861 Lafayette-area homesteaders Adolf and Anna Waneka.
The restored Thomas House was featured in 2004 on the HGTV series Restore America and in 2000 was the first home to be designated an historic landmark in Lafayette, Colorado.
Anna Waneka Thomas married William J. Thomas in 1875. Mr. Thomas died in a mining accident near Ward in 1897, leaving Anna with nine children. In December of 1899, Anna married Frank Greenlee and the two built the Thomas House in about 1900 along what is now Baseline Road. The structure, originally located in the backyard of today’s 1306 Lambert Circle, served as the farmhouse for the land north of Waneka Reservoir.
Frank and Anna Greenlee had two children, but they divorced about 1909, and Anna set about raising 11 children on the Thomas Farm. According to Charles “Chuck” Waneka, Adolf Waneka who was Anna’s father, passed away in 1896 at age 70 in a small two-room stone house that stood for many decades adjacent the Thomas House. Anna lived in her two-story home until her death in 1935 when the house passed to her son, Dick. It was remodeled in 1953 and, after 1970, was used as a rental. The farm was purchased in 1994 by California home builder Kaufman and Broad, which slated the derelict home for demolition to make way for the more than 100 new homes at Waneka Pointe.
For several months, the City of Lafayette and the Lafayette Historical Society explored moving the structure to city property on the west side of Waneka Lake and utilizing it as an agricultural learning center. Grants and city funding never materialized, so the concept was scrapped.
In a last-minute effort, in 1995 Doug Conarroe and Dana Coffield obtained ownership of the 1,700 sq. ft. house and moved it to its current location at 513 E. Elm Street. The couple spent the next three years painstakingly restoring the home. Today it is a superb example of historic preservation in Lafayette.
• JoAnn Steinhaus, who grew up next door to the Thomas House wrote in 1995 of her fond memories of the farmhouse.
• Read about Doug Conarroe’s efforts to preserve the Thomas House and Lafayette’s history in a 1996 Lafayette News article inviting local residents to view the renovated home and in a 2006 Boulder Daily Camera article titled “Lafayette man salvages city’s history.”