Grants Awarded

American House Hotel

Chaffee County

The American House Hotel was a successful hotel built in 1880 in the mining boom town of St. Elmo. 

The American House Hotel.

The American House Hotel.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In 1882, owner and operator E.P. Whitney built a two-story addition that was home to a general store, parlor, and additional rooms. Not long after, the St. Elmo economy collapsed as local mines failed.  The American House Hotel changed hands several times in the succeeding years, but fell into disrepair. In the 1940s, the owners elected to dismantle the original building, but kept the storefront and parlor building. Historic St. Elmo and Chalk Creek Canyon, Inc. are using an SHF grant to conduct long-term preservation and stabilization projects on the remnants of the hotel in order to restore its character-defining features, including the walls, roof, and front façade as they appeared in the 1940s.  Once restored, the remaining American House Hotel building will be a space for interpretative displays concerning the rich history of St. Elmo.