B. H. Gurnsey
MANITOU HOUSE, MANITOU, COLORADO
August 11, 1891
The series of images of which this is a part were made between 1872 and 1880. Not far from Denver, this hotel illustrates the degree of sophistication attained in the 1870’s in some parts of the “Wild West.” The building conforms to architectural styles of the day and would be patronized by people who did not represent the characterization we commonly attribute to the frontier. This is quite different from a stagecoach stop or overnight inn for a variety of itinerants. This would have all the services expected in a resort hotel for the comfort and convenience of its guests.
Examine this photograph closely. You can get an idea of what would have been the height of fashion at that time. Give some thought to what it means for our understanding of social history in the latter nineteenth century to have places such as Manitou House and cities like Denver in the midst of a region we have though of as wild and untamed.