Historic Georgetown, Inc., a not for profit corporation, was formed to preserve and encourage the preservation of historic buildings,objects,sites and areas relating to the history of Georgetown, Colorado;to promote an awareness of and respect for all that is historically and architecturally significant about Georgetown; to encourage the appropriate management and conservation of the natural ,setting of Georgetown; and, through these efforts, to keep alive and intact, for the enrichment of present and future generations, the inherited character and charm and beauty of Georgetown and its unique role in the development of the Rocky Mountain West and the United States of America.
The story of Historic Georgetown, Inc.'s inception (HGI) is one that captures the imagination and gives true meaning to the word perseverance. The story illustrates, in David and Goliath terms, how a tiny grass-roots organization can evolve into something greater than anyone thought possible. It is the story of how HGI, previously known as the Georgetown Society, Inc., came into existence back in 1968 as the first local historic preservaiton organization in the state.
One cold and snowy Georgetown Christmas Eve, three twenty-somethings were sitting in front of a roaring fire at the Alpine Inn enjoying the company of friends. Ron Neely, John Calhoun, and Cindy Wadsworth Neely discussed the importance of preserving what was irreplaceable to this tiny Rocky Mountain town. Bear in mind that Interstate 70 was nearing completion and there was talk of Colorado holding the upcoming Winter Olympics. One truly might wonder what the future would hold for a small town with the threat of over-development nearly knocking down its door!
From that night forward, local efforts have been the driving force behind not only one organization dedicated to preserving the historic fabric of Georgetown, but eight organizations dedicated to keeping Georgetown...well, Georgetown. Since that time, HGI, its members, and its partners halted a potentially disastrous condo complex from overrunning Leavenworth Mountain, encouraged residents to respect the historic integrity of their personal properties, helped save numerous integral historic structures, helped revitalize the downtown area through projects such as Taos Square, the Mahany building and the Commercial Plaque Program, helped residents and visitors interpret Georgetown's rich history and its significance to the greater history of the nation, and helped create a community that has aspired to lead by example.
Since that time, HGI has moved forward to further its mission by developing new programs and thinking out of the box. Those programs and accomplishments include a conservation easement program, the Devil's Gate History Club, a publication committee, an Open Lands Program, the Five-part Residential Interpretive Program, the development and maintenance of two parks, forming a sister corporation known as the Georgetown Trust for Conservation and Preservation, spearheading the concept of two other museums in town (Georgetown Energy Museum and the Georgetown Firefighting Museum), and developing numerous special events such as the Georgetown Christmas Market, Victorian House Tours, and the Georgetown COOK-OFF to benefit the town and foster economic development in the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District.