Melanie Roth

Melanie Roth, president of Historic St. Elmo & Chalk Creek Canyon Inc., greets members of the group at their annual dinner Sunday in St. Elmo. Roth said the event raised about $3,000 for preservation work on the historic mining town’s buildings.

Historic St. Elmo & Chalk Creek Canyon Inc. raised almost $3,000 from silent and live auctions Sunday at a members’ dinner in the historic mining town.

Melanie Roth, president of the preservation group, said she appreciated the help of auction donors, volunteers, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, which catered the dinner, and St. Elmo General Store, among others.

Two live auctions garnered a total of $260 as a bottle of Deerhammer whiskey and a black-and-white photo of Hancock Lake in winter by Sheldon Roth both brought in $130 each.

Buena Vista historian Suzy Kelly presented a program including 40 historic photos of the St. Elmo area with the stories behind them.

Kelly said events like the dinner and program were important to make people know and appreciate historic towns like St. Elmo so they will be preserved and maintained.

The group had another reason to celebrate Tuesday as the Chaffee County commissioners approved an award of $10,000 to the group, contingent on their raising another $6,000 to fund preservation projects.

The money will be the last part of a cash match for grants from the State Historic Fund.

That money is being used for stabilization of the Stark Bros. Store and Home Comfort Hotel building, which received a new foundation and new roof last year.

Work to finish the project includes interior supports for the winter months, walkways, fencing and stabilization of several outbuildings.

Roth said the group, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is accepting donations for matching the State Historic Fund grant. Those who would like to donate can send a check with “CC challenge” in the memo line to Historic St. Elmo & Chalk Creek Canyon Inc., P.O. Box 282, Nathrop, CO 81236. To donate online, visit, click “donate” then “nonprofits” and type in “historic st. elmo.”

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