1860s GOLD RUSH
In 1860, Abe Lee discovered gold at the California Gulch, less than 2 miles from the Delaware Hotel. This sent hundreds of gold-seekers to Colorado.
The gold-seekers began populating an area that became known as Oro City, just a short distance from Harrison Avenue. As the placer gold that lay on top of the ground for the taking was depleted, Oro City was deserted and the scene was desolate.
1883 CONSTRUCTION BEGINS
Construction of the Delaware Hotel began with the architect, George King, and the Callaway Brothers (William, George, and John) funding the $80,000 project. The Callaway brothers came to Leadville to make their fortunes as merchants. Their Delaware Block Store opened in 1886.
1887 SILVER RUSH
Another rush began in 1877 when silver was discovered in the upper California Gulch. Hardy souls lured by the discovery of rich silver lead to Leadville earning its name in 1878 when the population reached 25,000.
Our resident ghost is Mary Coffey. She was shot in a jealous rage by her husband and is said to wander the halls of the hotel. If you ask some of the staff though, we have a couple more ghosts in the building, even one of the Callaway brothers is said to hang around here.
After closing the Leadville store in 1890, the Callaway brothers leased the first floor of the Delaware Block to the Crews Beggs Dry Goods Company, which remained here until the late 1970s. The Callaways sold the building in 1946 for $40,000.
In 1980 a Denver Company purchased the building and created a mini-mall on the first floor. Over the next six years, The Delaware Hotel was sold two more times, reopening in 1986 as a hotel and rooming house.
The lobby was renovated in 1992. The hotel was purchased in 2000 by Kit Williams and he continued to renovate and stabilize the building. Kit and his wife Gail's vision was to create an interactive historical experience for their guests.
The Delaware Hotel is under new ownership! The hotel is currently being restored with a brand new restaurant, bar, and cafe.