Visit The Lord Dunraven Cottage
Did Lord Dunraven actually live in the octagonal Queen Ann-style home built along Fish Creek Road near the Estes Park “English” Hotel? One of the oldest buildings still standing in Estes valley, Lord Dunraven’s charming early Victorian cottage, still captures one’s imagination of what an Irish Lord’s Rocky Mountain home would look like. Built in 1877 by Englishman John Cleave, it was to be used by Lord Dunraven as his private home, located just far enough away from his English Hotel to provide privacy, but close enough to oversee his hotel. Mr. Cleave’s workman initially used the cottage as a place to stay while working on the hotel which was completed in 1878. After that, Lord Dunraven rarely resided at the house preferring to stay at the hotel during his infrequent visits to the area. It is highly likely Mr. Theodore Whyte, Dunraven’s manager, lived in the cottage with his young wife while supervising Dunravens’ hotel and ranching interests.
In 1923, after the property passed through several owners, it was sold to the Camp Fire Girls of Northern Colorado. The girls came from all over and participated in camping, hiking, horseback riding, and outdoor activities while developing skills to achieve their merit badges. It was during this period of time that the cottage saw it most use and enjoyment. One can only imaging the fun and laughter that filled the cottage with the many Campfire Girls so happy to be together in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
The cottage with it steep pitched roof and tower, wide porches and bay windows is under new ownership and being lovingly restored. The Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation’s, Tenth Annual Historic Tour offers a unique chance to visit the site of Lord Dunraven’s cottage along with five other historic sites both in Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park. This Tenth Anniversary tour is far more extensive than previous ones, offering a five hour, old time bus tour to six unique historical sites, a box lunch and ending with a reception at the museum. A free copy of the book, “This Was Estes Park.” is also included. History tour guides will include Historian Laureate Jim Pickering, Museum Director Derek Fortini and Alicia Middleman Education Curator, plus trained docents at each site. Ticket price of $75. ($65. for museum members) is all inclusive. Over half of the ticket price is tax deductible. To purchase your tickets online, go to the Friends website at: www.estesparkmusuemfriends.org or mail check, payable to EPMF&F, to: Estes Park Museum Friends, 200 Fourth Street, Estes Park, CO 80517.