Grand Lake Area Historical Society

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About the Grand Lake Historical Society

In the summer of 1973, Pam Foster and Betty and Bill Caswell as newly arrived members of the Grand Lake community and members of a Chamber of Commerce committee studying Grand Lake assets, felt the city’s historic background should be preserved. Subsequently the Grand Lake Area Historical Society was organized. Patience Kemp and Dorothy Howard conferred in Denver with the chairman of the State Historical Department on the procedure to be followed to make the society official. Deadlines were met and by the end of 1973 the Grand Lake Area Historical Society was official.

The only remaining pioneer hotel in Grand Lake, the Kauffman House, was selected for purchase and restoration as society headquarters. Patience Kemp and Don Drake were instrumental in convincing the owner to sell the property to the society for $28,500.00.  John Holzworth and Patience Kemp led donors and new society members in raising $5,000.00 for the down payment. John Holzworth loaned the society $20,000 and Patience Kemp gave $3,500 to complete the purchase. The loan was paid off in 1983, just ten years later.

Kauffman House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The restoration and redecoration of Kauffman House has been accomplished mainly from funds from memorials and gifts from the M. J. and Mary Ann O’Fallon Trust, a personal gift from Patience Kemp, memberships and dues.

These are gratefully acknowledged by the Grand Lake Area Historical Society.

The Society herein records gifts and artifacts presented by friends and associates for use in the Kauffman House Museum.


Contribute Today


Make a donation or become a Grand Lake Area Historical Society member. With your help, the efforts to preserve and protect Grand Lake area's heritage will continue to move steadily forward... READ MORE

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about us

Share your story or read other stories about Grand Lake, Colorado. Help contribute to Grand Lake’s historical records. Tell us all about your history in Grand Lake... READ MORE

Find a Museum


Get directions to the Kauffman House Museum and Smith Eslick Cottage Camp, as well as the Administration Office. See our museum hours, locations and contact information... READ MORE