The Brief, Brilliant Reign of the Fritchle: Colorado's First Electric Car


I believe they lived on 9th and Franklin, however, I am not sure. I have a cousin, David Fritchle that was raised at that address, and I think he is a descendant of Oliver P. Fritchle. However, I do know that Oliver's two sons attended and graduated from Ohio State. Oliver divorced his first wife and remarried. His first wife, (Blanche Nieswander) moved back to Ohio and is buried in Columbus, I believe. Oliver moved to California after closing his business in Denver.

That's interesting. The Fillmore was originally the Mammoth Roller Skating Rink, opened in 1907, but it closed in 1910 and Fritchle converted the building into a manufacturing facility. I didn't know that the building had an industrial past in addition to being a skating rink before becoming a concert venue.


Did the Byers-Evans house owners have a Fritchle? I heard the house once had an electric car, but last time I visited the guide knew nothing at all about it.

Hi S,

Sorry for the delayed reply. We coordinated with our colleagues over at History Colorado and the Byers-Evans house to answer this one. Here's what we found:

In te Fritchle collection at History Colorado, both John E. Evans and Evan E. Evans are listed as owning Fritchles, but they are listed at addresses other than 1310 Bannock (1325 Race and 1401 12th Ave respectively)

Here's the answer from the Education Coordinator at Byers-Evans:

This is a great question and yes we do know that there was a Fritchle housed in our 1883 garage/carriage house at some point in 1310 Bannock's history.  William Evans lived here from 1889 until his death in 1924.  The carriage house's use became for cars as a garage around 1905 and we know that William hired a chauffeur, David Morton.  Our knowledge of the Fritchle in our garage by the time of their popularity in Denver is based upon the fact that David Morton was the mechanic for both a gas and electric car.  Evan Evans was William's younger brother and the family member responsible for arranging the family wealth into the Evans Investment Company.  Although we don't see William's name as an owner, it would not surprise me if Evan Evans had his car serviced or even used the chauffeur services of David Morton.  This use probably extended to the entirety of the family as I am not sure Evan Evans had a chauffeur/mechanic himself.  

They also have a photo of David Morton in the old driveway of the 1310 Bannock, though it doesn't look like any of the Fritchles that I've seen.


The Unsinkable Molly Brown owned a Fritchle Electric. Once her and her husband got into an argument and he went out and broke out every window in the car. Oliver P. Fritchle is my 1st cousin, twice removed. His father and my great grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Fritchle are brothers. His father being Augustus C. Fritchle. I currently reside in Denver and have seen the car in the museum on Broadway.