Louis Dupuy

Adolphe Francois Gerard was born in Alenšon, France in 1844. He was enrolled in a seminary at the age of 15, but left at age 20 and ran away to Paris, where he squandered an inheritance. He then moved to London, and finally to New York at the age of 22. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and traveled west to Wyoming, where he shortly deserted. He changed his name to Louis Dupuy and in 1869 went to work for the Rocky Mountain News as a roving reporter for the mining camps.

Louis became so enamored of the mining life that he decided to become a miner himself. While working in a mine above Georgetown and Silver Plume in 1873, he was badly injured in an explosion as he saved a co-worker, breaking a rib, clavicle, and injuring his left eye. The people of Georgetown raised enough money for him to rent the former Delmonico Bakery; Louis was able to purchase it within a few years, creating a restaurant and hotel called the Hotel de Paris. By the early 1890's the original building was unrecognizable; it had tripled in size, contained numerous rooms, a large restaurant, a sizeable kitchen, and apartments for Louis himself.

The Hotel de Paris had indoor plumbing with a washbasin in each room, as well as electric lighting, which replaced gas lamps in 1893. Dinners were served in the dining room on Haviland china from Limoges, France, with elegant linens and imported glassware. The menu included steaks from cattle raised on Louis' ranch in North Park (a short distance from Kremmling), delicacies such as oysters, and anchovies in olive oil imported from France.

Louis Dupuy was an avid reader, as well as a linguist, fluent in French, English, German and Latin. He actually spent some time as a translator before coming to Colorado. He read not only literature, but extensively in philosophy also. Louis' library which contains texts in French, English, German and Latin, a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica and more, is on display in the hotel today. In 1900 Louis Dupuy contracted pneumonia and after fighting it for 5 weeks, died on October 7 at the age of 56. He left the hotel to his housekeeper Sophie Gally, who died only 4 months after Louis. The Hotel de Paris was then bought by the Burkholder family who owned it until 1954 when the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Colorado acquired it and turned it into a museum.


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Sophie Gally

Sophie Gally, born Marie Sophie Bladier--possibly a distant relative of Louis Dupuy's from France--was housekeeper at the Hotel de Paris for almost 25 years. She came to the U.S. with her husband, Jean-Antoine Gally, who disappeared rather early; there is no record of whether he died or deserted her. Sophie is reputed to have never learned to speak English, although this concept is difficult to believe, specifically since Sophie worked for Louis in his very public hotel for almost 25 years.

It is said that Sophie would sit in front of the hotel on a bench, and the local children would walk and call her Auntie or Aunt Sophie. Sophie had no known life outside of the hotel and apparently very little contact with any relatives left in France, much less with the local population.

When Louis took a trip shortly before he died, he wrote up a will for himself and one for Sophie; Louis' left everything to Sophie, Sophie's left all to Louis. Needless to say, Louis really didn't expect to die--he was only in his mid 50's. However, in the early fall of 1900, Louis contracted a fever and died of pneumonia. Everything went to Sophie, but she died 4 months later, in February of 1901. At this point, everything she had was left to distant relatives in France, who eventually sold it all to the Burkholders in Georgetown for a fraction of the hotel's true worth.

Go to Find-A-Grave for more information about Sophie.