Hartman Castle Preservation

A Community Initiative


Honoring the past while preserving for the future.  Help restore Gunnison’s Hartman Castle.


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Who Are We?

We are a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to saving the historic Hartman Castle. We are fortunate that we have been offered the opportunity to buy the home on its existing location, along with two additional historic buildings. Once restored, the site will once again a Gunnison treasure, to be enjoyed for generations to come.

The Past

Wedding photo of Alonzo & Annie Hartman

Without the past, we would have no present or future. Indeed, this is true of Gunnison and a man named Alonzo Hartman. He had a varied and exciting past before coming to the Gunnison Valley as a young man. A descendant of Daniel Boone, he was born into a pioneer family in Iowa. His family later moved to Kansas and Colorado, staying on the forward push of white settlement. He had little formal schooling. He worked in the mines, downtown businesses in an early Denver, his father’s cattle industry, and started his own cattle and ranching business in the San Luis Valley.

Alonzo Hartman came to the Gunnison Valley on Christmas Day of 1872 as a government employee for the Los Pinos Indian Agency. He was responsible for the cow camp, located in the general area of the City of Gunnison. After being employed for four years, Hartman started a small trading post and store in 1876. Soon afterward, he helped to establish a post office and became the first postmaster. This building still stands at the Pioneer Museum.

With other partners, Hartman purchased 120 acres of land and laid out the townsite of Gunnison.

In 1882, he married Anna Haigler. They built a quarry stone home in Gunnison that still stands.

In 1885, he returned to ranching and established one of the first homesteads in the Gunnison Valley. This ranch eventually grew to over 2,000 acres. He is one of the first cattleman of the Gunnison Valley.

In 1890, the Hartmans decided to move out to the ranch. From Annie’s drawings, a Methodist minister designed a home in the Gothic architecture style, which Annie preferred. A turret was included so she, as an artist, could see in all directions for creating her landscape drawings.

The Hartmans would eventually leave the Gunnison Valley, though they always considered it ‘home.’ We are grateful for the home they left behind and for this amazing opportunity ahead of us.

The Present

Present Home Page Photo of Hartman Castle

It has long been the desire to establish this property as a public space. Dr. Lois Borland, in the 1950s, advocated the space for a museum, calling the Castle a ‘museum onto itself.’ She lamented that the group did not have the funds. In her 1962 book History With the Hide-Off, Betty Wallace worries that the Castle will go the way of the La Veta Hotel (demolished.) She expressed hope that it would be saved.

Following a recent visit, preservation architect Jody Reeser was pleased that the structure is in stable condition and said of the Castle: “The interior details that have survived in good condition are probably the most delightful surprise of all. It is rare to see so much surviving trim work, stair detailing, and fireplace surrounds in such beautiful condition. That is not to say there isn’t plenty of work to be done. Still, for a building of this era and this level of neglect, this building is a prime candidate for preservation and rehabilitation.” She also said, “It is one of the most significant buildings in Gunnison’s history.”

The non-profit organization will purchase almost three acres, which includes the first milled lumber home (to be used as housing), a block building (to be used as a caterer’s kitchen, bathrooms, and office space), and the Castle (to be used as a much-needed year-round event space). The grounds will be used for parking and gardens.

Our Future

Staircase with Stained Glass

It depends on all of us. Hartman Castle has the potential to become a focal point for cultural and educational initiatives, attracting tourists and history enthusiasts from far and wide. Investing in its restoration rather than succumbing to demolition or decay can create a valuable asset contributing to Gunnison Valley’s economic and cultural vitality.

The loss of Hartman Castle would be a blow to Gunnison’s heritage and a missed opportunity to create a lasting legacy for future generations. We urge swift and decisive action to ensure its preservation, securing a brighter and culturally enriched future for our Gunnison valley and Hartman communities.

It is up to us!

A photo of Annie and Alonzo Hartman
Photo showing two men and a women holding horses in front of the Hartman dairy barn
Photo showing ranch buildings and barns at the Dos Rios Ranch. The Hartman home, referred to as the Castle, is also in the photo.
A photo of the Castle and a car.
A photo of the second home on the site.

The site will include three buildings and multiple garden areas

Visualize what an asset a restored property with vibrant use will be to the community of Gunnison!

A photo of the Castle and a car.

Goal and Amount Raised

Our first goal amount is for the purchase of the property, including related expenses.

First Goal

Raised to date (06.08.2024)


Percentage of goal

Preservation Partners

These businesses have pledged a portion of their revenue to Hartman Castle Preservation. Please help them help us.

JJ Jeeps, Crested Butte, CO
We’re excited to announce that our first History Jeep Tour of the season will be on June 2nd! We will explore the fascinating history of Hartman Rocks and the Gunnison Gold Belt with renowned local historian Duane Vandenbusche. A portion of all proceeds will benefit the Hartman Castle Preservation
Visit www.jjsjeeps.com or call 970-765-6526 to book!
Island Acres Resort Motel, Gunnison, CO

Island Acres pledged the ’23 and ’24 collection of their voluntary Sustain Tourism fee from the Rippling River Ranch building to the Hartman Castle Preservation Corp. The Rippling River Ranch was also a cattle ranch. On the side of the building is signage with the ranch’s logo, letterhead, and brands for both horses and cattle. While that ranch is now under the water of the Blue Mesa Reservoir, several of their buildings live on in Gunnison, including the one at Island Acres. This was the last cabin built at the Rippling River Ranch, sold at their 1964 auction and moved to Island Acres. It is now a three-bedroom, three-bath cabin with a kitchen and living room area. Bring your family, your friends and help support the restoration of Hartman Castle.


These businesses have donated goods or services to Hartman Castle Preservation. Please help them help us.

Jody Reeser, J Reeser Architect

Matt Hutson, SGM Engineering

Jerry Burgess, SGM Engineering

Paula Mann, CPA, Overlook Financial

Rijks Family Gallery


Gene and Judy Buffington Sammons

Gunnison County Public Library

Pioneer Museum

Crested Butte Museum

KOA of Gunnison, Dave and Susie Taylor

Island Acres Resort Motel

Special Events

Would you like to be a part of saving the Hartman Castle? Let us know!

Donation and volunteer form

Latest from the Blog

Blog posts will be coming soon as we will have local historians and others sharing the importance of the history of this property. We will also be sharing stories of our progress.

Become a Volunteer or Donate Today!

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