Joseph Watson built Georgetown’s Hamill House in 1867. He later sold it to his brother-in-law William Hamill in 1874. Hamill became very successful as a mine owner-operator during the Colorado Silver Boom, allowing him to expand and remodel the home. He added a dining room, solarium, and kitchen. These renovations accumulated over time, and by 1885 the house took on its modern configuration.
The Silver Crash in 1893—coupled with Hamill’s departure for Denver—led to the house’s decline. By 1914, the house was used as a stable for dairy cows. Later, the home was bought by the Bank of Georgetown, but the bank did not survive the Great Depression. The property sat relatively dormant until after World War II when it was purchased by Ralph and Edith Dick, who opened the home as a museum with their son-in-law’s family—the Bennets—in 1954. Historic Georgetown, Inc acquired the property in 1971 and only a year later the house achieved recognition in the National Register in addition to its status as part of the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District.
This latest SHF grant is for construction drawings that will address issues on the second floor framing above the parlor, the work to restore the parlor, and additional construction drawings for follow-up work.
As part of Hamill’s renovations, he removed two load-bearing walls within the home that have since resulted in a bowing ceiling in the library and the parlor of the main floor. This grant will help to address these issues in the structure of the home. This rehabilitation will allow the Hamill House to continue hosting a variety of community events and serve as a local museum addressing the town’s significant mining history.