The Hamill House Museum: 1867, 1879
305 Argentine Street, Georgetown
The Hamill House Museum is the centerpiece of Historic Georgetown,
Inc.'s comprehensive residential interpretation of the Georgetown-Silver
Plume National Historic Landmark District (designated 1966) within the
context of the Rocky Mountain Mining West. The museum interprets
19th-century residential living in Georgetown, Colorado including
architecture, furnishing, Victorian plants, landscaping, & social
and cultural lifestyles.
Originally constructed by Joseph Watson as a modest Country Gothic house in 1867, it was later purchased by Watson's wealthy brother-in-law William Arthur Hamill. By 1879, Hamill had greatly expanded the mountain estate into a lavishly beautiful home with its conserva-tory, gas lighting, bay windows, walnut woodwork, central heating, and luxurious interior decor. The other buildings on the property include the carriage house, Mr. Hamill's granite office building, a laundry/summer kitchen, and a spacious six-seater privy.
Visit this beautifully restored 19th-century Victorian home and experience our new hands-on exhibit in the laundry house/summer kitchen, which is now part of our regular tour.
Hamill House Tours
The Hamill House is host to many public and private events throughout each calendar year.
You, too, can reserve the Hamill House Museum for your next private event.
Georgetown Firefighting Museum at the Alpine Hose No.2 Firehouse
5th Street, Georgetown
The newly restored Alpine Hose firehouse is now a museum chronicaling the history of firefighting in Georgetown.
The schedule of the Alpine Hose Firefighting Museum Tours is the same as the Hamill House schedule.
Historic Georgetown manages four additional properties which, when combined with the Hamill House, comprise the Five-Part Residential Interpretive Program, representing five different 19th-century lifestyles in Georgetown, from a rugged log cabin to a stately mansion.
The Bowman-White House Museum: 1892
The Bowman-White House was purchased by Historic Georgetown, Inc., in 1974 at a cost of $35,000. This beautiful and expansive Victorian home provides insight into the lives of an upper-middle class mining/professional family of nineteenth-century Georgetown. The Bowman-White House is an Italianate structure accented with Queen Anne details, and at the time of construction, it contained over 2,400 square feet of living space. John Henry Bowman, after moving to Georgetown in 1885, built this house for his family in 1892. His ownership and management of mining properties in the Silver Creek area (south of Lawson) brought in enough profit to allow him to erect this stylish two-story home. Bowman's daughter, Mellie, inherited the property at the turn-of-the-century, and lived here with her husband, local attorney John J. White and four boys. After her death, the property was purchased by HGI from the Bowman-White family. Through the years, approximately $95,000 has been spent on rehabilitation and restoration at the property, including some structural and mechanical rehabilitation, wall-covering replication, and exterior painting. The Bowman-White House is not available for public tours at this time.
The Kneisel House: 1870
The Kneisel House is typical of a Georgetown middle-class dwelling during Georgetown's silver boom. Constructed circa 1875, this house was built by local merchant Henry Kneisel who opened a bakery and later operated a grocery store, which he ran in partnership with his son-in-law, Emil Anderson. Additionally, a hardware business was incorporated in 1918. The Kneisel and Anderson store on 6th Street, in business for over one hundred years, has been managed by five generations of the Kneisel and Anderson families. Purchased from the family in 1998, the Kneisel House is currently rented by a local family. The home's modern use mirrors its historic use while protecting its historic value and integrity.
The Tucker Rutherford Cottage: 1870s, 1880s, 1890s
Albert and James Tucker owned this building throughout most of the latter half of the 19th century, probably using it for rental income. The two brothers owned stores in both the northern and southern parts of town, as well as other residential properties. The Tucker-Rutherford Cottage is typical in scale and quite representative of the many miners’ homes that were once built throughout the valley. Due to poor construction, few of these small wood-frame structures that were so typical of the Clear Creek Valley remain today. Donated to HGI in 1976 by Frank E. (Buff) and Mary Lou Rutherford of Georgetown, this house focuses on the simpler, more rustic lifestyle of an everyday miner and his family. Limited work has been done on the Tucker-Rutherford Cottage.
The Johnson Log Cabin: circa 1870
This log cabin was presumably a pioneer prospector's home built circa 1870. It is one of the few remaining log cabins and quite typical of many that once dotted the Clear Creek Valley. The simple log structure represents one of the earliest and most common types of construction in the mining West. Little is known about the builder, Mr. Johnson, who apparently stayed in town only a few years before moving on to a new community in search of riches. The lovely miner's cabin boasts a loft and remnants of original wallpaper, in which dainty blue ribbon was woven through. Donated to HGI in 1974 by Fred and Ginger Booth, this one-room cabin characterizes the lifestyle of the itinerant miner or prospector: the lifestyle most often neglected within the context of house museums.
The Centennial Mill: 1929
The Centennial Mill, located on 3rd Street just below Guanella Pass Road, is the last surviving mill structure in Georgetown. At the peak of its mining industry, Georgetown was a highly industrial community. With the re-growth of trees and the loss of most of the industrial structures in town, today Georgetown is frequently only perceived through its architecture as a bucolic Victorian-era mountain community. Its “hammers and rocks” image is relegated to outlying mining areas, when in fact mining was as much a part of daily community life in town as it was on the neighboring mountainsides. Historically, the mines of the Centennial Group include some of the earliest and most lucrative mineral finds in the district. Many mines and mills were opened and closed periodically over the decades due to the ever booming and busting economic cycles in Colorado. Consequently, the Centennial Mill actually represents two periods of mining. Originally in a different location, it was known as the Griffith Mill, which was a late 19th century structure. The Western States Mining company that bought out the Centennial group of mines purchased the Griffith Mill, disassembled it, which was a quite common practice due to the high value of timber and mining equipment, and reassembled the Centennial Mill at its current location in 1929. The new location was optimal as it was in close proximity to the Colorado Central Railroad which made the transfer of ore to the Denver smelters highly cost-effective for the Centennial Group. The mill utilized a then-revolutionary system known as flotation which was patented by Mrs. Carrie Everson in 1885. Two mills operated during the depression in Georgetown using the flotation system, and it was considered state-of-the-art technology in 1929. Centennial Mill is the last example of Georgetown’s prominence in the development of mining technologies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The mill was acquired by HGI in 2004 thanks to the generosity of many private donors, the Colorado State Historical Fund, the 1772 Foundation, and the Challenge Cost Share Program through the National Park Service.