Grand ImperialConstructed in 1882
The Grand Imperial Hotel was built in 1882 with Victorian-style architecture. A Mr. C.S. Thomson, a representative of the Crown Perfumery of London, with significant interest in the Martha Rose Smelter in Silverton, saw the need for a hotel of the highest magnitude in Silverton; the hottest mining town in the west. He had fitting plans drawn of such an edifice complete with Mansard roof, three stories, arched windows, lower level saloon, dining hall, sample rooms, public restrooms, suites, stores, and even initially, the offices and courtrooms of the county. It was, and still is, one of the largest buildings in Silverton. Upon opening, the hotel was referred to as “the finest hotel in the state, outside of Denver.”
The Grand Imperial Hotel is infused with turn-of-the century history from Silverton's colorful era as a mining boom town. Through the years the Grand Hotel, The Imperial Hotel, and now, The Grand Imperial Hotel, has witnessed the likes of Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp. Lillian Russell is also known to have spent many summers at The Grand. Her portrait can be seen in the lobby of the hotel. There is a bullet lodged in the wall of our establishment that bears witness to a wilder time. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway, a throwback to the bygone days of steam trains and train robberies, stops just a block from our front door.
Photo courtesy of the US National Park Service