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Hotel de Paris Museum
Hotel de Paris Museum collects, preserves and shares history associated with Louis Dupuy's Hotel de Paris, and serves as a catalyst for heritage tourism in Georgetown, Colorado. Hotel de Paris Museum, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is owned and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado.
- Hotel de Paris Museum collects, preserves and shares history associated with Louis Dupuy's Hotel de Paris, and serves as a catalyst for heritage tourism in Georgetown, Colorado.
The site's period of significance is 1875-1900; however, the museum also interprets the contributions of later owners, including Sophie Gally (1900-1901), Angeline Pouget Lefebvre and Rose Pouget (1901-1903), the Burkholder family (1903-1954) and The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado (1954-present).
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado (NSCDA in CO) was founded in 1896 and is devoted to patriotic service through education and participation in various historical activities. The NSCDA in CO is committed to providing thoroughly researched and historically accurate information to the public. A primary membership focus is to maintain, preserve, and operate for the benefit of the public the Hotel de Paris Museum in Georgetown, Colorado.
Hotel de Paris Museum educates school groups and the general public about the site's importance to the economic and social life of the Georgetown mining community, the history of the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District, as well as the State of Colorado and the United States. New educational initiatives are focusing on the achievements of the French and Chinese immigrants who created and ran the hotel, as well as the women who have preserved it.
The mission of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) is to collect and preserve manuscripts, traditions, relics, and mementoes of bygone days; to preserve and restore buildings connected with the early history of our country; to diffuse helpful and intelligent information concerning the past; to create a popular interest in our colonial history; to stimulate a spirit of true patriotism and a genuine love of country; and to impress upon the young the sacred obligation of honoring the memory of those heroic ancestors whose ability, valor, sufferings, and achievements are beyond all praise.
A primary purpose of the organization is the dissemination of American history. A fundamental objective is the identification, preservation, and maintenance of properties of diverse but significant history throughout the nation, and the education of the public as to their importance.
The NSCDA, headquartered in Washington, DC, was founded in 1891 as a patriotic and genealogical organization. The breadth of preservation work includes restoring buildings, researching and collecting artifacts and manuscripts, and conducting archaeological digs. The NSCDA owns more than 80 significant museum houses, buildings, and rooms that have been managed carefully to authentically represent the individual historic period.
The vision of The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Colorado, the owners of the Museum since 1954, is one of teaching American and International audiences about this classic American emigre entrepreneurial success story. As such the Hotel de Paris Museum is committed to:
- Upholding the Public Trust,
- Serving the widest possible audience,
- Maintaining its collections in accordance with professional standards of care and,
- Presenting interpretations founded on scholarship that also remains respectful of pluralistic values.
Governor John Hickenlooper proclaimed May 24, 2014 "HOTEL DE PARIS MUSEUM DAY" in the State of Colorado. The honor was given in recognition of the sixtieth anniversary of Hotel de Paris Museum.
The new book "Victorian Visitors at Hotel de Paris in Georgetown, Colorado" commemmorates the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of Hotel de Paris Museum by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado.
A "moustache booth" was created for the diamond anniversary of Hotel de Paris Museum. As a silly nod to the facial hair of Hotel de Paris proprietor Louis Dupuy, fake moustaches on sticks are provided to visitors who would like to take a picture with their cameras, smart phones, or other devices. Participants are asked to "check in" on social media with their pictures, which helps spread awareness of Hotel de Paris Museum.
It is anticipated that in 2015, a new tour experience will be debuted. Visitors will be issued a short biography and portrait of a person who either worked or stayed at Louis Dupuy's Hotel de Paris. These bios will help members of the public imagine themselves as front of the house employees, back of the house workers, or priviliged guests. Artifacts in the collection will correspond to the role of the historic person, and will help modern day visitors imagine themselves at the hotel during its years of operation.
Hotel de Paris Museum, a landmark building and direct link to Georgetown's days as an epicenter of Colorado's silver mining boom, is a Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Hotel de Paris Museum is the Trust's 29th Historic Site, joining a diverse list that includes Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, Acoma Sky City in Acoma, New Mexico, and President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington, D.C.
Hotel de Paris Museum is owned and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado. By entering into a cooperative agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Colonial Dames benefit from the National Trust's expertise in a range of areas, from preservation to conservation to interpretation. The National Trust collaborates with Hotel de Paris Museum to enhance visitor experiences at the site, including increasing the hours during which the site is open for tours.
The area around Georgetown was Colorado's most important source of silver in the mid-to-late 19th century-at one point attracting so many residents that it became one of the most populous cities in the state. Hotel de Paris Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally constructed in 1875 by French immigrant Adolphe Francois Gerarad, who called himself Louis Dupuy. He subsequently enlarged the original structure to its current size in 1889; most improvements to the building were completed by 1893. The building was operated as a hotel, boarding house, residence, restaurant, and showroom for traveling salesmen. In 1954, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado acquired the site, eventually restoring it to its original 1890s appearance and transforming it into its present incarnation as a historic site museum. The excellent condition of the building-and the presence of over ninety percent of the original furnishings, including Dupuy's library and art-make this site unique for educational opportunities.
Hotel de Paris Museum (in conjunction with Historic Georgetown, Incorporated, the Georgetown Trust for Conservation and Preservation, Incorporated and the Town of Georgetown) has impacted favorably the recognition of the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District. Through the museum's participation in local special events (Victorian House Tour, Bighorn Sheep Festival, Georgetown Christmas Market), Hotel de Paris Museum has helped raise awareness of the vital social and economic history of Colorado's Central Range.
"Famous the wide world over, " Louis Dupuy's Hotel de Paris, an idealized notion of a French inn, began in 1875 and is older than the State of Colorado itself. His creation catered to wealthy businessmen, railroad tycoons, mining investors, and outdoor adventure seekers. Hotel de Paris served as a first-class French restaurant, a showroom for traveling salesmen, and as a high-end accommodation during America's Gilded Age. Guests marveled at the hotel's elegant quarters, gas and electric lights, steam heat, hot and cold running water, and cellar stocked with the choicest wine, champagne, cognac, sherry, port, brandy, and whiskey...all nestled in the alpine beauty that surrounded the building and set against a backdrop of wilderness.
A rich and storied past includes visits from notable guests George and Jay Gould and such celebrated international figures as the Countess Magri (the former Mrs. General Tom Thumb). However, after the Silver Panic of 1893, Hotel de Paris began a steady decline. In 1954, it was purchased and reopened as a museum about the hotel. Over the last sixty years, the building has undergone millions of dollars of preservation and renovation efforts. Restored period rooms showcase the site's original furnishings, which are faithfully arranged. Visitors are immersed in a setting of authenticity, which provides a fascinating window into the lives of the hotel's proprietors, workers, builders, and guests.
Hotel de Paris Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and lies within the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District. In 2003, Georgetown was named one of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In 2007, Hotel de Paris Museum was added to an exclusive list of National Trust Historic Sites, bringing more attention and visitors to the charmingly preserved town of Georgetown, Colorado. Hotel de Paris Museum is the only National Trust Historic Site in Colorado, and one of only 27 such sites in the United States. Among Hotel de Paris Museum's commitments to the National Trust, is a policy of public accessibility, professional standards, and diversity.
In 2010, Hotel de Paris Museum changed its mission statement to reflect a commitment to the Georgetown community to stimulate local business through heritage tourism.
Through an Endowment established in 2008, the museum receives interest income toward its operating expenses. However, in order to offer programming and instructive activities, the museum seeks funds from its owner The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado, its museum membership "Les Amis," donations from the general public, and competitive grants in the philanthropic community.
- More support would provide the museum with resources to develop new educational outreach programs to school children and the residents of the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District.
- Due to the growth of the museum's collection of artifacts over the last few years, the need for conservation funds has risen. Many items cannot currently be displayed because of severely deteriorated conditions.
- The museum's marketing materials are outdated and should be made current to reflect new information about the site, as well as branding standards set forth by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Executive Director Statement
During this Diamond Anniversary year for Hotel de Paris Museum, I believe no other historic hotel museum possesses the commitment to preservation seen here. Authenticity and stewardship have been the keys to our success. Since 1954, the museum has served as a time-capsule of history with over 5,000 artifacts original to the hotel in its collection. Permanent exhibits attract over 4,000 visitors annually to the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District and the State of Colorado.
The high quality of Hotel de Paris Museum was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which formed a contract co-stewardship partnership with the museum in 2007. Hotel de Paris Museum is part of an elite group of 29 National Trust historic sites around the United States and is the only property in the Mountains Plains Region, consisting of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Our association with the National Trust continues a long-held tradition of documentation, disaster planning, maintenance, collections management, housekeeping, archeology, and public programming.
Hotel de Paris Museum has developed a long-range governance plan overseen by a diverse and rotating executive committee. Personnel and volunteers assist in day-to-day operations, as well as fundraising, emergency preparedness, collections management, interpretation, education, marketing, and membership. In addition to the professional development required by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Hotel de Paris Museum's staff participates in educational workshops made available by Colorado Wyoming Association of Museums.
Currently, museum staff is developing a disaster plan that involves similar institutions (such as art museums, history museums, natural history museums, and historical sites) in Clear Creek and Jefferson counties. In addition, renewed efforts are underway to refine exhibits using primary and secondary source materials (such as photographs, inventories, oral histories, and newspaper accounts). A collections assessment conducted in 2014 has given staff direction and initiative to further treat the museum's collection of artifacts in the most professional and appropriate manner.
Our efforts have already been rewarded by a collection that is growing. Over the last two several years, recovery of a missing statuette, the acquisition of a Hotel de Paris proprietor's clothing and personal effects, the return of a cruet set, and numerous pieces of ephemera have given us reason to be optimistic about our future. We have embraced these new opportunities for stewardship and look forward to the day when the public can see even more original objects that have found their ways home to Hotel de Paris Museum.
Director, Hotel de Paris Museum
Board Chair/President Statement
The preservation and restoration of the Hotel de Paris Museum has been a family affair for me. Thirty-nine years after my mother, Ellen Riddle, served a chairperson, I took on the role of Chairperson for the Hotel de Paris Museum Committee. I became a Colonial Dame in the 1970s at my mother's insistence and have enjoyed being a member over the years of this group that was formed to preserve and restore our historic heritage throughout America.
I have been able to assist with the administration and renovation of the site, which over the years has grown in recognition and importance. The Hotel de Paris Museum is a significant contributor to the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District (1966) and was place on the National Register of Historic Places (1970), and, most recently became the only National Trust Historic Site in Colorado (2007). Our goal, with these endorsements in hand, is to make the property and its history more and more interesting and accessible to future visitors.
Our museum today captures the Victorian period where the "mysterious Frenchman" Louis Dupuy created an elegant hotel with gourmet dining in the heart of the mining district of the Rocky Mountains. The furnishings are over 90% original to Louis. In addition, the museum staff and volunteers have uncovered new information regarding Sarah Burkholder and her daughter Hazel McAdams who followed as proprietors after Louis Dupuy and kept the hotel and its artifacts safe for us all to enjoy. The upkeep of this museum (or as Louis Dupuy called it, "His souvenir of France") is expensive, as we seek to preserve, restore and keep the site open to the many visitors who find it fascinating. Therefore, we ask you to donate what you can to our ongoing caretaking of this special place.
I am proud to call this mountain town of Georgetown my home. Our over 900 residents support the efforts to keep our museums open here for all to enjoy. We would love to welcome you to our town and to the Hotel de Paris Museum!
Mary Riddle Clark
Chairperson, Hotel de Paris Museum Committee
"Outstanding! The Hotel de Paris [Museum] is an incredible building and the staff do it justice...Not to be missed." KathyF413
"Unusual place with so many original items." Jayne1973Dallas_TX
"Steeped in Colorado history, it [Louis Dupuy's Hotel de Paris] is... a testimony of the international diversity of the USA." Andreas L.
"I have been on this tour several times, but not in recent years. I was delighted to see more spaces open for viewing." Rayeanne
"Great way to get out of the sun for a fun tour into times past. Lovely furniture and restoration - my grandkids enjoyed it." Corrie B.
"Great slice of history...it is worth seeing." Janels
"Great step back in time....We really enjoyed how well the facility is preserved. After living overseas, it is interesting to see how tourism and travel developed on the frontier of the United States...My wife and I visit historic properties both here and abroad. The Hotel is a gem!" John H.
"Fascinating! I love historic homes but have never visited an old hotel that has been converted into a museum. Our guide was very knowledgeable and did a great job. You visit several guest rooms, including the "sample rooms," rented by traveling salesmen who used the rooms as temporary store fronts. The tour also discusses the life of Louis DuPuy, the owner. What a story! I highly recommend you visit the Hotel de Paris." The Travelinlass
"My husband and I enjoyed a fabulous tour at Hotel de Paris Museum. What a great slice of history in this old mining town west of Denver! Our guides were very hospitable and extremely knowledgeable about the Hotel and its founder, Louis Dupuy, and the invaluable contribution that Louis and his great old hotel made to Georgetown and the surrounding area. The museum is well-maintained and culturally rich: original appointments and furnishings and unique aspects of the hotel that Monsieur Dupuy had lovingly added. There's a fountain for fresh trout in the dining room! This one's a Five-Star, for sure." Dr. Mell