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The Longs, last in a line of absentee owners of the Hotel Imperial, were British subjects. George, of British nobility, had been educated in England as an architectural draftsman. His wife, the former Ursula Worth of Cheshire, England, had obtained a teaching certificate and taught briefly at Pine, Colorado. Though they were cousins, they did not meet until both had migrated to Denver and were introduced at St. John's Cathedral, where George had been engaged to do paintings in the upper level of the church.

The Mackin’s purchased the Imperial Hotel from Ursula in 1946. It was not possible to trace the exact time when it became apparent to the Longs that they would have to move to Cripple Creek and operate the hotel themselves in order to save their investment. Mrs. Shoot had apparently run a successful operation for several years after the Longs' purchase. Sometime after 1905, the name had been changed from the New Collins to the HOTEL IMPERIAL.

Mrs. Shoot moved out, taking her furniture and fixtures with her, and the Longs, with their three children, moved in to take over management. As Mrs. Long reminisced in her conversations with the Mackins, "I went to Denver to Daniels and Fishers (then the most exclusive department store in the west, and later Daniels and Fisher became May D&F) and ordered all new furniture for the hotel, the shipment consisting of several carloads.

The kitchen and dining room were newly furnished. The CRIPPLE CREEK TIMES carried the opening ad for the dining room on March I, 1914, advertising SPECIAL SUNDAY DINNERS 5:30 to 8:00 P.M., 50 CENTS, Mrs. G. E. LONG, PROP. The society column for March 8 notes: "Last Sundaye. The dining room, brilliantly lighted, and the tables laid with everything new, sparkling with slender vases filled with carnations on every table, made a very pretty sight." Among those listed as guests that evening were the Rev. and Mrs. J. A. Stanfield, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Carlton, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Bruington, Mr. F. W. Doepke and Messrs. William and Percy Kyner.

The Rev. J. A. Stanfield was then rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Carlton - A. E. and his brother, L. G. Carlton, were prominent businessmen and bankers during the development of the Cripple Creek district. The present Carlton Room – a very upscale Restaurant - is named in honor of Mrs. A. E. Carlton. Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Bruington of Garden City, Kansas for many years spent their summers in Cripple Creek. They resided in the two story brick building with the brown front on the north side of Carr Street that is now a women's dormitory for the Imperial Hotel. Mrs. Bruington ran a florist shop in downtown Cripple Creek. F. W. Doepke was one of the early day prominent mining men and promoters and William Kyner was the former owner publisher of the Cripple Creek Times Record, forerunner of the present Cripple Creek Gold Rush.

The Long family lived in an apartment on the south side of the hotel, presently the Red Rooster lounge and sitting room. Their eldest son, Sam, was sent to England at age 10 to receive his education in the tradition of English gentlemen. Daughter Esther graduated from Cripple Creek High School and went to England to finish her education. She was presented at the Court o evening for dinner was the formal opening of the new IMPERIAL HOTEL. The house, newly decorated and furnished, is very attractive. St. James and later became Lady Michael Wright, wife of Sir Michael Wright of the British Diplomatic Service. The older daughter, Alice, suffered from recurring bouts of illness and stayed with her parents until her death in the late '40's. The youngest child, Charles, was born at the Imperial Hotel, attended school in Cripple Creek and pursued a career in decorating with Daniels and Fishers Store of Denver. He later worked and resided in Southern California.

THE IMPERIAL HOTEL enjoyed good times, especially during summer months, when special trains brought tourists from Colorado Springs and Canon City. Special "wild flower excursion" trains from Colorado Springs were crowded to capacity and 58 regularly scheduled trains arrived and departed the Midland Terminal Depot daily. The CRIPPLE CREEK TIMES reports a record 1700 visitors in one day, June 17, 1912, necessitating an extra train to accommodate the crowds. For a time, the Imperial maintained a fleet of seven shiny Pierce Arrows, whose smartly liveried drivers greeted the arriving trains and delivered the be ruffled ladies and their gentlemen to the doorstep of the Imperial, where overflow crowds were accommodated for luncheon.

Since Cripple Creek was the county seat of Teller County, the hotel was often headquarters for judges, barristers and jury during some of Cripple Creek's most colorful trials. Juries were sequestered there for lengthy deliberations. Businessmen made it their home away from home when spending a prolonged time in the area, as the hotel had the reputation for having a "quiet, residential atmosphere".

                                                                                                          Excerpts from Dorothy Mackin Book


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Cripple Creek Hotel

Carr Manor Historic Inn

350 East Carr Ave.

Cripple Creek, Colorado

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