Near Lake City in Hinsdale County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
George S. Lee arrived in Hinsdale County from Massachusetts in May, 1877 with ambitious plans for the newly formed Galena Mining District. Lee saw opportunities to invest in the future of Colorado. At the time, the two-hundred-acre town site known as Galena City had two stores, several hotels and restaurants, a post office, approximately one hundred houses (cabins), and the George B. Greene & Company Smelter. Galena City was renamed Capitol City when the name Galena was selected by another community in Colorado.
In 1879, Lee built a two-story brick house that was advertised as the Mountain House Hotel. It included a formal living room, several guest bedrooms, and a formal ballroom with a glassed in bay window, in which tropical plants were grown. Governor F. W. Pitkin was an overnight guest in the home in 1879.
Lee's vision did not stop with his residence. He built a carriage house for his buggy and a brick outhouse - the first and only - one of its kind in the region. He also built Henson Creek (Lee's) Smelter, Rose Lime Kiln, and a saw and planing mill. Lee delivered lumber and shingles to the mines using packjacks
Lee's holdings became insolvent in 1882 and he relocated to Denver. He later moved to New Jersey where he perfected and patented a number of inventions.
1. "Lee's Mansion," as it became known, fell into disrepair and gradually collapsed. The remaining structure was torn down in the 1960s.
Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Department
2. "The most elegantly furnished house in Southern Colorado."
Frank Fossett, travel writer, describing Lee's Mansion in 1879.
3. Lee's residence is shown in this 1880 illustration. Lee drove a beautiful coach pulled by four matching horses.
-Illustration courtesy of Lake City Museum - Hinsdale County Historical Society
4. George S. Lee's brick house with a brick outhouse. Lee had a brick-making kiln in Capitol City and manufactured his own bricks. Lee represented the Capitol City Mining & Reduction Co. which owned the Henson Creek Smelter on the east end of town and took over the defunct George B. Greene Smelter on the west end of town.
-Photo courtesy of Lake City Museum - Hinsdale County Historical Society
5. Lee's Mansion in Capitol City.
-Photo circa 1910, courtesy of Lake City Museum - Hinsdale County Historical Society
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1877.
Location. 38° 0.371′ N, 107° 28.041′ W. Marker is near Lake City, Colorado, in Hinsdale County. Marker is on County Highway 20, 0.1 miles west of County Highway 24, on the right when traveling west. The marker is located in the old ghost town of Capital City along the Alpine Loop about 9 1/2 miles west of Lake City. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lake City CO 81235, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rose Lime Kiln (approx. 2˝ miles away); White Death (approx. 3.7 miles away); Bonanza Empire Chief (approx. 3.7 miles away); Tellurium or Was It Whitecross (approx. 4˝ miles away); A Town with Three Names (approx. 4˝ miles away); Troops Enroute (approx. 4.9 miles away); Ute-Ulay (approx. 5 miles away); Ute Homeland (approx. 6.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lake City.
Also see . . . Alpine Loop.
The Alpine Loop is truly a backcountry experience. Make sure someone knows your travel plans and do your homework before you start your trip. Make sure you have plenty of water, food and fuel to make it to your destination. Electronics and wireless devises DO NOT work in most places on the Alpine Loop. It(Submitted on July 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.