During the 1860s, the 17 Mile House served as a rest stop for pioneers traveling along the Cherokee and Smoky Hill wagon trails. The property is one of the few remaining "mile houses" located along those historic routes, which were developed to facilitate the movement of gold seekers and settlers on horseback and wagons across the plains into Denver and the Rocky Mountains. The house was known as the 17 Mile House, since it was 17 miles from the intersection of Colfax Avenue and Broadway in Denver. Mile houses were located every two to three miles along the historic trails.
In 1983, the 17 Mile House Farm was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior. In 2015, SHF funded a historic structure assessment for the 17 Mile House Barn which identified many critical and serious structural deficiencies. This grant is for the first phase of a long-term project to address those issues. Project elements include foundation repair, dry zone, roof repair and replacement, east wall reconstruction, and waterproofing the structure.