"The Switzerland of America"

             Photo taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net - (May 2005)
                                                                                                 (All rights reserved)

                                                            Ouray is located on the ultra- scenic San Juan Skyway

Ouray has been a special destination of world travelers for more than 100 years. This small intimate community is nestled in some of the most
rugged and towering peaks of the Rockies. Set at the narrow head of a valley at 7,792 feet and surrounded on three sides with 13,000 foot
snowcapped peaks - Ouray has been eloquently nicknamed the "Switzerland of America."

Remarkably, two-thirds of Ouray's original Victorian structures, both private and commercial, are still occupied, and have been lovingly
restored in order to preserve their turn-of-the-century charm.


                                                                                 Located in Ouray County

Ouray County lies in the southwestern corner of Colorado in the heart of the San Juan mountains. Ouray County's landscape is dominated by
mountain peaks with 12 peaks 13,000 ft or higher.

The county covers 542 square miles and has a population of around 4,560. Two municipalities lie within the county, the city of Ouray and the
town of Ridgway. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the primary industries in the county were mining and agriculture. With the
decline of the mining industry, tourism increased with many drawn to Ouray County for its natural beauty and variety of outdoor activities.


                                History of Ouray

Originally established by miners chasing silver and gold in the surrounding mountains, the town at one time, boasted more horses and mules
than people. Prospectors arrived in the area in 1875 searching for silver and gold. At the height of the mining, Ouray had more than active 30
mines. The town was incorporated on October 2nd, 1876, Ouray was named after Chief Ouray of the Utes, a Native American tribe. By 1877
Ouray had grown to over 1,000 in population and was named county seat of the newly formed Ouray County on 8 March 1877.

The Denver & Rio Grande Railway arrived in Ouray on 21 December 1887, it would stay until the automobile and trucks caused a decline in
traffic, the last regularly scheduled passenger train was 14 September 1930. The line between Ouray and Ridgway was abandoned on 21
March 1953.

The entire town is registered as a National Historic District; with most of the building dating back to the late 1800's. The Beaumont Hotel, Ouray
City Hall, Ouray County Courthouse, St. Elmo Hotel, St. Joseph's Miners' Hospital (currently the Ouray County Historical Society and Museum),
Western Hotel, and Wright's Opera House are all on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the fall of 1968 the film True Grit was filmed in Ouray County, including some scenes in the town of Ouray, most notably the Ouray County
Court House.


Unlike other mining towns, Ouray never experienced a large fire that consumed a large portion of the town. As a result, a significant number of
19th century commercial buildings remain in town.


                     Guided (Annual) Cemetery Walking Tours ~ at Cedar Hill Cemetery!

                                                 {Held annually in the summertime ~ Call for dates & times}

Summer 2015 dates:

July 18th, 2015:    Guided Cemetery Walking Tour, $10, meet at Cedar Hill Cemetery at 9:00 am. Preregister at: 970-325-4576

August 22nd, 2015:  Guided Cemetery Walking Tour, $10, meet at Cedar Hill Cemetery at 9:00 am. Preregister at 970-325-4576.

The Cedar Hill Cemetery tour takes visitors through Ouray’s beautifully maintained 120-year-old burial ground. Learn the stories of both the
upstanding and infamous citizens who shaped Ouray County. Many of the most ornate headstones mark the graves of children who perished
from childhood disease and the harsh environment. Others belong to prominent citizens such as brick mason Frank Carney who built many of
Ouray’s existing buildings and later became lieutenant governor of Colorado. (Keep an eye out for the legendary white ghost cat who guards
his owners’ graves.)


Read the Telluride Watch newspaper article: www.telluridewatch.com/view/full_story/7964113/article-Ouray-County-Historical-Society-Gears-up-

Ouray County Historical Society/Museum
420 6th Avenue, Post Office Box 151 Ouray, CO 81427-0151
Phone: 970-325-4576

For assistance during the time we are closed call:  Museum Manager Maria Jones @ 970-325-4576

                                                                                                                 Haunts of Ouray

                                                                                               St. Elmo Hotel
                                                                                                  426 Main Street
                                                                                                  (970) 325-4951  

                                                                      Above photos taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net- May 2005

 Catherine "Kitie" Heit built, owned and operated this Queen Anne hotel. She also was the owner of the Bon Ton Restaurant, a Western
Vernacular frame building that was located on the site adjacentto, and north of the hotel. The Bon Ton was in existence in 1886. Kittie bought it
in 1890. It wastorn down in 1924. The present day Bon Ton opened in 1977 and is located in the hotel's lowerlevel. The hotel lobby and most
of its rooms are furnished today much as they were in the earlydays. A wide staircase leads to the second floor. There is a skylight in the roof,
the light fallingupon this beautiful stairway. This building is one of several in Ouray that is thought to be haunted.

Source: Ouray County Historical Society

                                                            Ouray County Historical Museum

                                                                                 (The old St. Joseph's Miners' Hospital)
                                                                                                     420 Sixth Avenue

                                                                        Photos taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net - (May 2005)

The Miners' Hospital opened its doors for business on August 27, 1887 under the auspices of the Sisters of Mercy. This stately old Italianate
building was built with dressed native stone and bracketed roof overhangs. It has three floors and a partial basement with a dirt floor. There
are 34 rooms in the building, 27 of which are now devoted to the history of Ouray County. The hospital was in existence for seventy-seven
years, closing permanently in 1964. By 1971 the newly organized Ouray County Historical Society leased space for exhibits and in 1976
purchased the property in order to develop a museum. Here you can learn about the Tabeguache Ute Indians who roamed this area for
centuries, mining, ranching, the railroads and other early transportation, minerals of the area, Ouray County's natural history, details about the
hospital itself and much more.

It is reported to be one of the haunted buildings in town.

'Things do happen around here that I can't explain," said Historical Society Volunteer Barbara Kneisler. "A light will go on that I know for sure I
turned off - little things.

"But of course, old buildings do creak, so I don't pay attention to every little sound."

Telluride Daily Planet
Ouray County Historical Society

                                                                       Ouray County Courthouse
                                                                                                     541 Fourth Street

                                    Photo taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net - (May 2005)

The Courthouse today remains very much as it was upon completion, both inside and out. It was built of locally manufactured brick with cut
stone trim by Frank Carney. It embodies an unusual blend of architectural styles, primarily Queen Anne and Romanesque.

The first floor houses the county clerk's and treasurer's offices just as it did when it opened. The long wide central hall is used to exhibit many
historic photographs taken throughout the county.

The second floor district courtroom is 40' by 56' with an 18' ceiling. Its natural light comes through large arched windows. This room contains
many of its original furnishings. Jury rooms and other offices associated with the court are on this floor.

In 1976, the courthouse was enlarged by constructing an extension on the southeast side. The building attached to the back of the courthouse
was originally the county jail. Today it is office space for the County Sheriff's Department.

The courtroom scenes in the movie, True Grit, were filmed here.

Ouray County Historical Society


At the Ouray County Courthouse, one spirit has made her presence known to men far more frequently than to women, said Deputy County
Clerk Paulette Crabb.

"We had someone working late at night," Crabb said. "He came out in the hall and saw a woman dressed in the style of the early 19th century.
She introduced herself, and gave her name as Sally Beaudreau.

"When he went to shake her hand, she wasn't there."

So strong is Ouray's reputation as a hangout for ghosts, the courthouse recently hosted two living visitors - paranormal researchers - intent on
capturing the ephemeral spirit on film, said Ouray County Clerk and Recorder Michelle Olin.

"Two ladies came in and set up cameras and audio," Olin said. "They had the kind of cameras that can see at night, but I have no idea if they
found anything."

If the cameras and audio did turn up evidence of a paranormal presence, the researchers promised to share their findings, said Olin, who said
she has never seen any sign of a ghost in the courthouse.

Crabb and co-worker Jamie Nixon are not bothered by the possible presence of a ghostly visitor either.

"We have heard weird noises," Nixon said. "But we don't work at night."


                                                                          The Historic Western Hotel
                                                                                                210 Seventh Avenue
                                                                                              Ouray, Colorado 81427
                                                                                                    (970) 325 4645

Above photo taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net ~ 2005
                                                                                                                                             Above historic photo: The Western Hotel
                                                                                                                                                       @ 1885 (

   ........A mysterious face painted on the bar room floor of the historic Western Hotel's saloon.

                                                                 (Photo taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net - May 2005)

.....One local "haunt" favored by unexplained phenomena is the Western Hotel.

"I was helping to remodel the Western in 1976," Ouray resident Kevin Haley said. "We saw shadows on the windows on a pretty regular basis.

"We were chipping away some little tiles at one point, and when we got up the next morning, our tools were all scattered around," Haley said.

While tales of spirited happenings at the Western abound, hotel owner Rosemarie Pieper has never felt the least bit unsettled - even while
doing laundry late at night.

"I am very comfortable with the hotel," Pieper said, adding that, when it comes to ghost sightings, "I think it is personal for everybody.

Telluride Daily Planet


.....One of the oldest , still standing all wood hotels in the West. My hairdresser told me that while an art workshop was going on there, two lady
artists saw, at different times, a lady on the staircase in old fashioned dress (1800s). They both drew or painted her picture and compared
them. They were of the same woman. The employees say there are several rooms upstairs that are haunted. After closing up one night, they
were sitting in the front lobby when they heard the cash register start operating in the adjoining bar.


Ouray: Historic Western Hotel: "Terror-ific? Yes, but just because of all the GHOSTS!"
April 14, 2003:  A TripAdvisor Member, Longmont, CO   

Wow, maybe the season makes the difference, because last August my Husband and I had the best experience of our lives at the Historic
Western Hotel. We checked in around 1:00 and was greated immediatley by a very helpful girl behind the counter. We were showed up to our
room (which was only $35, by the way) and walking up the stairs and down the hall, we creaked and squeaked all the way there... It was
CLASSIC! We felt like we were in one of those old western movies! When we got to our room, we were delighted to see that there were no
phones, contributing even more to our back in time feel. We were told that our shared restroom was down the hall (there are two suites @
about $60 with their own, but come on! where is your sense of adventure!) and when we got there, we were delighted to find an old clawfoot tub
and those hot/cold two fixture fausets!

I think the best part of our stay was when we found the guest book in our nightstand. In it we read all the stories of past visitors and how they
encountered ghosts at night :) All of this swept me away and I had vivid dreams of ghosts walking in the hallway woke up in the middle of the
night with my heart pounding! It was terror-ific!!!

We loved our stay and plan on going back soon, If you go, be sure to eat downstairs in the restaurant, it's inexpensive and the food was great!

Trip Advisor website

......All of the rooms at the lovely Historic Western Hotel have journals where guests can record their
ghostly experiences!   (**Names omitted for privacy.)


                                                                  Photos taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net - (May 2005)


                                                                           The Beaumont Hotel
                                                                                           505 Main Street
                                                                                           (970) 325-7000


                                                              Photos taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net - (May 2005)

......There are some who say the Beaumont is haunted by the spirit of a young woman slain there in the

                                                                     Photo taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net - (May 2005)

 Newly and gorgeously renovated, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman who was brutally raped and killed by one of the chefs
working there. Apparently, he was never brought to justice over the murder and it is said that she occasionally has been seen on the balcony
crying out because of the injustice. Last Fall, we by chance met up with one of my husband's old classmates. She said that as a child, she and
her family had stayed in one of the upper rooms in the hotel, just before they closed it for sooo many years.

Years later, when they had opened the Beaumont briefly for the local residents to tour, she found her way to that same room she had stayed in
all those years before. She said no one went into the room with her. She took several pictures of the room. She took one photograph of an old
picture hanging on the wall. When she got the pictures developed, there in that picture on the wall is the reflection of two men standing in old
clothes. One has a scrolled up paper in one hand. They are standing as though talking to one another but stopping just in time to look toward
her. She gave me a small scanned copy of that photo. Very interesting indeed.

Source: ***P. 149: From Book- Something In The Wind- Maryjoy Martin.


This three story brick building sits at the corner of Fifth and Main in Ouray, a town nicknamed the Switzerland of America that lies in the
shadows of the San Juans. Built to lure investors, architect O. Bulow drew up plans for the elegant hotel and work began in 1886.  The official
opening ball was held July 22, 1887 with much fanfare.  The interior was modeled after Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel and featured a rotunda
encircled by balconies, cathedral glass skylights, rosewood paneling, and a sweeping oak staircase.  The building was lighted by electricity,
and is believed to be one of the West’s first hotels wired with alternate current electricity.  Steam heating and hot water were also featured.

The hotel sat across the street from six saloons and became a grand centerpiece of the promising mining town.  In its heyday, the hotel
attracted guests such as Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Chipeta (wife of Ute Chief Ouray), and Lily Langtry.  Sarah Bernhardt was
known to belt songs from the balconies and King Leopold of Belgium demonstrated his mountain-climbing skills by dangling from the second-
story railings.

By the early 20th century, the hotel suffered from financial setbacks, but tourism picked up again after World War II.  Falling into disrepair, the
once chic hotel, painted a raffish pink, sat empty for more than 30 years.  Known by the locals as the pink elephant, it was an eyesore with
broken windows and crumbling façade.  To add insult, the roof partially collapsed in the mid-80s.

Locals swore the ghost of a waitress, who was murdered by a drunken pastry cook shortly after the hotel opened, haunted the building.

Despite the dilapidated condition and ghost, Dan and Mary King purchased the hotel in 1998 for $850,000 and began the painstaking task of
rehabilitating the building.  Anything that could be saved was restored, including marble sinks, wainscoting, the glass atrium above the lobby,
and the rooftop weathervane.  Although the restoration project qualified for a State Historical Fund grant, the new owners turned it down as the
time frame would have exceeded the target opening date of July 2002, the hotel’s 115-year anniversary.  Listed in the National Register of
Historic Places, the Beaumont Hotel was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation in 2003.  The Kings were also
presented with a 2004 Preserve America Presidential Award.

Source: The Colorado Historical Society website: Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation


                                          Columbus House Bed & Breakfast/ Silver Nugget Cafe
746 Main Street
                                                                                                 (970) 325-4551      

                                                                   Photo taken by www.hauntedcolorado.net - (May 2005)

 A restaurant and a grocery preceded the Columbus House on the southwestern corner of Eighth Avenue and Main Street. In 1898, a Queen
Anne architectural style building was constructed by M. Pasqual & Co. at a cost of $8,000. The next year a hotel and a saloon were opened. In
1916 Colorado voted to go dry so the saloon became a soft drink parlor and in 1920 the Columbus Pool Hall was opened on the first floor. A
basement restaurant opened in 1926, there was a secondhand store on the first floor and the Columbus Hotel was upstairs. In 1949 business
in the building consisted of a barber shop, a restaurant and an amusement club. The latest businesses to occupy this charming old building
are the Silver Nugget Restaurant and the Columbus House Bed & Breakfast.

Ouray County Historical Society


A visitor writes, "This is in response to the town Ouray in Colorado. Yes, the whole town is haunted. I lived there for about 3 years and I worked
at a few restaurants that were haunted!

One, The Silver Nugget, is haunted in many ways. Back in the day of miners the top floor was a whore house, the second floor was a bar and
the basement was a gambling area. A whore was killed upstairs, and the room that she was killed in is very haunted. A lot of people had
complained of strange occurrences.

Now the third floor is a hotel, the second floor is a restaurant and the basement is not in use. About 10 years ago a ghost of a miner walked
through the restaurant in it's most busy season and everyone ran out. The restaurant was dead (no pun) for about a year before it got back to
business. Two, I can't remember the name of the bar but it is on the Main Street.

A women owned the bar a long time ago and she was murdered in the freezer and put on a meat rack. The owner told me that she still hangs
around (again no pun) to watch the bar.

Source: Dawghouse haunted website

Columbus House Bed & Breakfast/ Silver Nugget Cafe


E-mail=  silvernugget@ouraynet.com


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