The 1,700 sq. ft. John B. Lewis (1879-1952) house at 403 E. Oak St. in Lafayette, Colo., was renovated in 1997 – 1998. Prior to renovation, the farmhouse and the mine office (relocated from a local coal mine) were side-by-side and shared a living room wall. As you can see from the construction photos, the back part, the mine office built in the 1890s, was nearly ready to fall down.
The house parts are now connected front-to-back and have completely new interiors and foundations. The front portion is the original farmhouse for the small dairy operation known as the Home Dairy. The rear portion is the former Simpson coal mine scale house and mine office, which was moved to the location by the Lewises sometime before 1937. Simpson mine operated from 1888 to 1926.
In 1937, coal miner John B. Lewis’ sons, John R. “Jack” Lewis, Sr. (1910-1989) and George “Nip” Lewis (1911-2005), started the Home Dairy after purchasing the Monarch Steam Laundry at 411 E. Oak Street in Lafayette. Lewises installed a creamery, complete with pasteurization equipment, next door at 409 E. Oak Street. They also built an ice house across the street. Jack Lewis and Nip Lewis were the sons of Mary Hannah (Kneebone) Lewis (1885-1963), and John B. Lewis.