In the spotlight | Kauffman House Museum, a Grand Lake log hotel pre-1900s
The Kauffman House Museum at 407 Pitkin St. in Grand Lake is a restored Victorian rustic hotel and family home built in 1892. The Kauffman family ran the building as a hotel until 1946, and it stands as the only remaining log hotel built in Grand Lake prior to the 1900s.
As a nonprofit organization, the Grand Lake Area Historical Society operates and maintains the historic building as a museum, which had a gallery added in 1990 to house additional exhibits, which change periodically.
Every room inside the Kauffman House is set up as it was in the past, giving visitors an intimate understanding of what it was like to live in a rural mountain town at the turn of the century. The historic building also highlights the story of builder Ezra Kauffman, who milled the structure’s logs on his homesteaded land, along with the stories and artifacts of many other pioneer families and community events.
The Kauffman House is an excellent example of an early residence and tourist hotel, and Ezra Kauffman ran it as a hotel continuously until his death in 1920. It was operated as a summer tourist hotel by Ezra’s widow and daughters until World War II and then sold to Henry Rhone in 1946.
The Rhones used the hotel to accommodate guests and people who worked for them in their guesthouse and restaurant. The house had other owners until 1973 when the Grand Lake Area Historical purchased the building and restored it as a museum.
This Kauffman House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places because of its log architecture and because its first owner was a typical example of the men who joined the westward movement, drawn by the mining, trapping, fishing and tourist phase of the Grand Lake community.
Movies are shown in the gallery, and the tours are included with admission. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, in addition to weekends in September and several times during the off-season.
Admission for adults is $5, children 12 years old and younger are free, as are GLAHS members and active military.
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