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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 object of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) is to collect and preserve manuscripts, traditions, relics of historical interest and value, and mementos 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 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 at Dumbarton House on Q Street 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. During the Spanish-American War and World War I, the NSCDA outfitted parts of hospital ships and during World War II "adopted" the USO center in Ketchikan, Alaska by raising money to maintain it for four and a half years (the center was used by some 5 million people). In addition, the NSCDA is assisting the Women's Memorial Foundation by recording the services of women veterans for their archives in the Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
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.
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) in the State of Colorado or Colonial Dames of Colorado are women descended in their own right from an ancestor who was residing in one of the thirteen original colonies prior to 1750 and contributed in a worthy way to the community or Colonies in that period before the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
In 2015, new tour humanities-based content was debuted. Visitors are being given more biographical information about people who either worked or stayed at Louis Dupuy's Hotel de Paris. These bios 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 correspond to the role of the historic person, and help modern day visitors imagine themselves at the hotel during its years of operation.
A photographic portrait gallery was developed that illustrates the ownership of the site. Visitors are able to better understand how the hotel has not had many owners over the years (which helps explain how much original fabric of the site still exists). In addition, the images illustrate that many of the proprietors and owners have been women; this fact helps raise the profile of women's contributions in running the hotel and preserving the historic site.
The "Hotel de Paris Museum Channel" was established on YouTube, and includes informative and educational videos. One of the videos contains footage of how the cabinet beds function (in the demonstration video, docents demonstrate how the beds stow away, thereby protecting the folding pieces of furniture from daily wear-and-tear). Also on the channel, is a three part interview that presents information about the proprietors and inhabitants of Hotel de Paris in the early-20th Century. This historical information brings the story forward closer to present day and shines a light on women's roles and responsibilities at the site from about 1901 into the 1950s.
Executive Director Kevin Kuharic appeared in the new short documentary "Mining for History."
Hotel de Paris Museum is working with Colorado Humanities on a new online resource called "Colorado Encyclopedia." Two articles (one about Hotel de Paris and the other about proprietor Louis Dupuy) will go live in 2016. The project is being funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Hotel de Paris Museum was awarded by TripAdvisor with a Certificate of Excellence. TripAdvisor extends this recognition to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers.
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 a prestigious 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.
In 2014, Governor John Hickenlooper declared May 24 "Hotel de Paris Museum Day" in the State of Colorado in recognition of the accomplishments of the site's proprietors and sixty years of historic preservation achievements by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado.
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.
- Efforts to craft more humanities-based tour content will require the input and expertise of humanities experts. Grants for research and consulting are needed in order to update information to more accurately reflect the contributions of Chinese workers, Jewish traveling salesmen, women proprietors, and women historic preservationists.
Executive Director Statement
Over the last several years, house museums have begun to tell more stories of individuals in order to explain objects and rooms found at historic sites. In order to participate in this trend, scholarly research took place last winter and expanded our understanding of the proprietors, workers, guests, and traveling salesmen associated with Louis Dupuy's Hotel de Paris. This humanities based approach will answer the public's questions about the people who worked and stayed at the hotel.
Authenticity and stewardship have been the keys to Hotel de Paris Museum's sixty-one years of success. Since 1954, the museum has served as a time-capsule of history with over 5,000 artifacts original to the hotel in its growing collection. The museum's permanent exhibits and stories of people attract between 5,000-6,000 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.
Museum staff is continuing to develope 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. Several recommendations made by the report have been addressed and work completed.
Our efforts have already been rewarded by a collection that is expanding and kept in an environment geared towards its long-term management and preservation. Over the last 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 related to the hotel and other businesses associated with the proprietors have given us reason to be optimistic. 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. Forty 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. Approximately 1000 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
Chairman, Hotel de Paris Museum Committee
"I was so blown away at how awesome this Hotel [museum] was. The tour was a real step back in time. You will regret not taking this tour if you are in the Georgetown area. The guide gave so much information and the Hotel was so cool. I loved this place."
-Carolyn K., Pueblo, CO
"Quite by happenstance, we found ourselves recently (June 2015) in Georgetown, Colorado -- a beautifully restored 19th Century Colorado silver mining town. Georgetown is quaint and interesting and while walking around we stumbled upon the imposing Hotel de Paris, clearly the dominant structure in town. A placard on the front of there building summarized the history of the establishment and indicated that tours were given hourly.
Buildings like these almost always have an interesting story to tell, and Hotel de Paris is no exception. We (my wife and I), were intrigued, so we entered the Hotel and signed up for the tour. The cost is modest ($5.00 for seniors like us and $7.00 for normal people) and worth every penny. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Hotel and of Georgetown and gave us a fascinating 45 minute tour of the building and of life in a 19th Century Colorado silver mining town. Of particular interest to me is the fact that most of the original furnishings, fixtures and and decor survive and that the Hotel looks in almost all respects as it did in its heyday more than 100 years ago.
If you happen to find yourself in Georgetown, Colorado, a tour of the Hotel de Paris is something that you don't want to miss!"
-cptcwk, Philadelphia, PA
"I took the tour of the museum. The docent was fluid, exciting, intelligent, & exceptionally informative. Her details were presented in an exceptionally professional way with tremendous detail and knowledge. She packed the tour with wonderful information about the entire history of the museum. You should plan to stop if you are anywhere near the area."
-Jean T., Hermosa Beach, CA
"In my top ten historical museums. We literally stumbled on this sweet town and the Hotel de Paris. What a gem. We have been involved in living history for 25 years and really appreciate history that is well done. Kevin and Jolie are so knowledgeable and the museum is a true gem. Rarely does one find a building that is so complete and with such a high percentage of original possessions as well as such interesting docents. I only wish our daughter would have come along but she spent the hour shopping, another delightful pastime in Georgetown."
-Jean U., Erie, PA
"If you like history then don't miss seeing the Hotel De Paris while you're in Georgetown. The docent was excellent and it was interesting to learn what it was like to stay at a luxury hotel in the late 19th Century."
-MustLoveTravel99, Chicago, IL