St. Elmo and the surrounding area of Chalk Creek are unique in the number of historic wooden structures still standing from the mining era of the 1880s through the1920s. Buildings from most mining towns were either torn down to make way for growth and expansion, or deteriorated from time, weather and vandalism. Preserving these buildings in an historically accurate fashion is expensive - requiring the expertise of historical architects, archeologists, and specialized historical contractors. These efforts are largely supported by grants from the Colorado State Historical Fund, but matching funds are also required. HSE, with the generous support of our volunteers and donors, identifies and prioritizes preservation and stabilization work that needs to be done. We submit grant proposals, raise matching funds, and work with the team of experts to complete the projects. Read on to see how we are keeping history alive in St. Elmo.
Mary Murphy Tram Building - Current
The Mary Murphy Mine was the largest and most productive mine in the Chalk Creek Mining District. This tram building, located in Romley near St. Elmo, was the lower station of a cable tram system that transported ore down from the mine entrance to a railroad siding for processing and shipment. The building is a rare remaining example of tram stations that were common during the mining era. Deterioration of the roof had put the building at high risk for collapse during winter snows. Read more to learn about the mine, tramway, and the work HSE is involved in to save this historic building....
Stark Brothers Store and Home Comfort Hotel - Completed 2019
The Stark family maintained the longest residency of St. Elmo. A 2016 assessment of the Stark Brothers Store and Home Comfort Hotel found 2 major issues. The untreated logs and sills providing the foundation were rotted, and the roof, which had undergone multiple repairs, needed to be taken down to the original sheathing and replaced. Read more to learn about the Stark family, this historic building, and deep look at HSE preservation work...
Cash Criss Building Stabilization - Completed 2019
The Cash-Criss Building, built in 1882, is one of the historic buildings on the west Main Street business district. Included in the 2016 assessment of the Home Comfort Hotel, it was also found to have issues with the foundation, as well as siding damaged by snow drifts. Read more to learn about the early owners, the building history, and HSE invovment in preservation.....
American House Parlor Stabilization - Completed 2017
The American House Hotel, built in 1880 by E. P. Whitney, was one of the earliest buildings in St. Elmo. The building lacked a true foundation, had a sagging wall, needed a floor and was missing windows and the original doors. The need work would allow the building to be opened as an educational center for visitors. Read more to learn about the historic American House Hotel, the builder, and preservation.
Pushor Building Stabilization - Completed 2016
The Pushor building was used as both a residence and commercial building. It has morphed more than any other building in St. Elmo, boasting the most additions to the the original building. The building was at high risk after the roof collapsed. The stabilization included removing the collapsed roof, debris, and attaching timbers to the walls to hold them up. Read more to learn about this historic building , the builder, and preservation.