A Nonprofit Organization Dedicated to Preserving the Past
Historic Georgetown, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation formed to preserve and encourage the preservation of historic buildings, objects, sites, and areas related to the history of Georgetown, Colorado.
"There may have been a time… when preservation was about saving an old building here and there, but those days are gone. Preservation is in the business of saving communities and the values they embody."
- Richard Moe, Former President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
About Historic Georgetown, Inc.
In 1966, the National Park Service designated Georgetown, Silver Plume, the intervening Loop valley, and the surrounding mountainsides as the Georgetown Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District in recognition of this area’s uniquely well-preserved representation of the 19th century Rocky Mountain mining boom.
Georgetown celebrated the event. However, within two years, newcomers interested in preservation realized that a federal designation would not protect the historic resources from being removed or overwhelmed by expansion and development—particularly with the potential of a Winter Olympics and the reality of Interstate 70. For this reason, in 1969, a group of concerned citizens composed of Ron Neely, John Calhoun, and Cynthia Wadsworth proposed the idea of a historical society to established business owners Bob Bolander, Bob Gibbs, and Wally Baehler.
On May 7, 1970, the Georgetown Society—later known as Georgetown Historical Society and now as Historic Georgetown, Inc.—was incorporated, which marked the beginning of our journey. From the start, Historic Georgetown, Inc. was as much a preservation agency as a traditional historical society. Our first project involved assisting the community of Georgetown in the passage of Colorado’s first townwide historic preservation ordinance that provided for the requirement of building design reviews, which continues to this day.
Spotlight on Renovation
Historical preservation involves studying history, honoring the lessons history has taught us, remembering and celebrating our diverse yet shared past. One of the best ways to experience history is by seeing and touching it. We are fortunate here in Georgetown to be a part of the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District which places utmost importance on the physical preservation of contributing architectural structures, like the Hamill House, structures that relay the unique narrative of Georgetown, Colorado in its heyday during the nineteenth century mining boom.
Through the leadership of HGI’s Executive Director, Nancy Hale, the support of our board of directors and funding provided by individual donors and Grants awarded to us by the Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), HGI has been shoring up the Hamill House Museum in order to ensure its survival for the next 153 years…plus.
The work is based on recommendations made in a 2015 structural assessment headed by architect team Tim and Kris Hoehn, the result of another grant awarded by SHF. Seasoned restoration specialist Tim McDonough and his team at Silver Plume Home Services have been contracted to complete the restoration work.
The parlor ceiling was stage one of a five part plan to preserve the Hamill House Museum for years to come. The work involved placing metal beams in the interior hallway walls that attach to sister beams placed horizontally in the floor of Hannah’s room to reinforce the parlor ceiling. The library ceiling is stage two of the plan. It includes a similar process of reinforcing the ceiling used for the parlor, however, the metal support beams are being placed in the exterior wall in front of the conservatory, sister beams placed in the above two older Hamill Boy’s bedrooms. Final touches (including wallpaper and paint) will be added to both the parlor and library once the structural work is complete and project specific grants have been secured.
In the meantime feel free to stop by and see the Hamill House in the process of this amazing restoration. Call ahead to schedule and appointment.
As I was going through Christmas Market brochures of years past in preparing this year's brochure and press release. I realized there was a discrepancy as to which official anniversary 20018s Christmas Market would be celebrating. 1998's brochure suggested the first Christmas Market was 1960, whereas 2001's brochure suggested 1959. Executive Director, Nancy Hale, and I were left grappling with whether 2018 would be the 58th or 59th annual Christmas Market. After much to do at the office of HGI and no firm answer to be had. I decided to march myself over to Shoppe International in hopes of finding Janice or Mike Moore. Certainly they would be able to settle it, for they were here at the very first Christmas Market...whenever that was. Was it 1959 or 1960? Much to my dismay Janice was of the mind Georgetown's first Christmas Market took place in 1963 or 1964.
Janice is not one to give up easily, thus she made it her mission, at that moment, to get to the bottom of it. Before I knew what was happening, Janice took a beeline for Strousse Park over to Strousse Park in search of the Christmas Market plaque, but the plaque was gone or moved or maybe there was never plaque. She didn't give up though. I could see the light of a flickering of a distant memory take form in her eyes. She may have even raised a pointed index finger in the air in triumph. "The Denver Post did an article that first year," she said excitedly. Janice realized then she needed backup. Enter Pattie Fraley. I listened as Janice picked up Shoppe International's landline phone to call Pattie's landline. Low and behold Pattie had given Christmas Market founder's daughter??? a framed copy of that article for Christmas last year. Yippee! Mystery solved!, the first Christmas market took place in 1960, which makes this year the official 59th Christmas Market.
HGI needs your help to continue its work. We are only able to continue the work of preservation through your donations and membership contributions which are both tax deductible. Please join us in the preservation of Georgetown and its environs and enjoy the benefits of membership which include reduced rental rates, free Hamill House Museum tours. HGI also provides the added benefit of free admittance to over 1,000 museums throughout North America to North American to Restorer level and above members.
The Silver Queen Preservation News
is a publication of HGI, a Colorado not-for-profit 501 (c) 3. PO Box 667, Georgetown, CO 80444
Board of Directors
Chair: Jan Shirlaw
Vice-Chairs: Mary Smith, Norma Hafenstein
Secretary: Ellen Elliott
Treasurer: Gregg Pederson
Endowment: Robert Gibbs
Directors: Kathy Hoeft, Ed Hoover, Beth Montgomery, Gary Faselt, Sue Knous, Les Maes
Executive Director: Nancy Hale
Office Director: Christian Hawkins
Historic Georgetown Inc. "Building the future by restoring the past."