Set in picturesque Clear Creek Canyon against the high peaks of the rugged Rocky Mountains, Dupuy’s fine establishment provided accommodations for regular boarders and a first-class French restaurant to visitors and the population of Georgetown. The town was a silver mining camp, boomtown, and financial center that then numbered approximately 3,500 citizens. The population of Georgetown would continue to rise with the arrival of the Colorado Central Railroad on Colorado Day, August 1, 1877.
Dupuy initially rented the two-story frame structure and then purchased it in 1878 for $1,250. Over time, the building was handsomely fitted with steam heat, hot and cold running water, elegant carpets, imported china, gaslights, and electricity. Masonry additions to the hotel were constructed in 1878, 1882, and 1889. The luxurious hostelry contained showrooms for traveling salesmen and eventually catered to wealthy businessmen, railroad tycoons, mining investors, hunters, fishermen, and those seeking elevated regions and a health resort.
The Colorado Miner declared Dupuy “one of the best cooks in the [Colorado] territory.” Over time, his restaurant offered three square meals each day, including oysters, wild game, hand-cut steaks, and seasonal delicacies.
Butchering was done on-site, within view of some of the guest rooms. Customers accustomed to the finer things in life marveled at the wine cellar, which was stocked with the choicest Bordeaux, Riesling, Zinfandel, California claret, French champagne, Madeira, sherry, cognac, port, brandy, and bourbon whiskey.
Stylistically, the completed building was High Victorian Eclectic with a mix of Greek revival, French Second Empire, and Italianate, and it posed a striking contrast to the surrounding wilderness. The substantial structure was distinguished in a competitive lodging market by its cast-iron window lintels and sills, gilded zinc statuary from New York, galvanized iron cornice, paved sidewalks, and stucco exterior scored to resemble blocks of stone.
The fashionable interior contained decorative features in the (Charles) Eastlake style and boasted black walnut woodwork, English carpets, velvet-covered couches and chairs, porcelain and brass cuspidors, marble-topped vanities, framed etchings of charming and provocative subjects, and an impressive collection of books and periodicals from Dupuy’s personal library.
The centerpiece of the hotel was its restaurant dining room, which had a polychromatic scratch fresco ceiling punctuated by gas chandeliers, silver maple and black walnut striped flooring, photographs by William Henry Jackson, mirrors, saloon tables, a zinc fountain featuring Cupid astride a swan, a leather-bound guest register, and a cylinder desk ornamented by veneered panels in the French style.
In 1959–60 Hotel de Paree, a CBS television series based on Hotel de Paris, was filmed on a soundstage at CBS Studio Center near Los Angeles, California, and broadcast to homes across the country. The short-lived Western starred Earl Holliman, Judi Meredith, Jeanette Nolan, and Strother Martin. Hotel de Paris also captured the imagination of America’s Author, Louis L’Amour, who fictionalized the setting in his novel The Proving Trail. Sandra Dallas, a New York Times best-selling author, included Hotel de Paris in her novels The Chile Queen and the award-winning The Bride’s House.