Heart of Gold Hill


Gold Hill SignBreckenridge Film Festivial Official SelectionIn the short film, Heart of Gold Hill, we will document, using film and oral history, the social/cultural history as well as the physical and architectural history of two significant buildings in Boulder County, the Gold Hill Inn and the Bluebird Lodge.The documentary, reflecting these two beloved Boulder historic structures, will be a celebration of an important piece of Boulder County history. Gold Hill was the first mining district organized in the Nebraska Territory in March 1859. The Bluebird Lodge, originally called the Wentworth Hotel, was built in 1873 to attract tourists to the growing mining town of Gold Hill. The Gold Hill Inn is not an Inn at all but rather a cherished restaurant completed in 1926 and originally used as the meeting and dining hall for the Bluebird Lodge, and to this day remains the very heartbeat of the town of Gold Hill. In August of 1989, the Gold Hill Inn and the Bluebird Lodge were entered into the National Registry of Historic Places.

We will feature interviews with the Finn siblings, whose parents Frank and Barbara Finn bought the two buildings in 1962, several longtime Gold Hill residents, local history experts and many of the musicians, local and national, who have played such an important role in the life and spirit of the Gold Hill Inn. We also will include what we’re calling an “architectural tour” of the two buildings complete with an interview with the man who has been repairing the original windows and replacing the chinking for many years. We want to look at the buildings inside and out as well as at any changes that have been made over the years focusing on the efforts made to retain the original physical and architectural integrity.

Music has been an important part of the Inn since Frank and Barbara Finn bought it years ago. Early on there was a volunteer jug band made up of CU and Bureau of Standard physicists. filmingThe Dilliards, a bluegrass band that appeared as the Darling Boys on the Andy Griffith Show, was also a regular at the Inn for years.  Each summer the Inn has three big outdoor concert-barbeques; Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. This year (2012) they had an additional outdoor concert in June honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1962 purchase of the Bluebird Lodge and the Gold Hill Inn by Frank and Barbara Finn.

We are collaborating with the Boulder Library’s Oral History Program and will be archiving the interviews with the program as part of their local oral history collection. There is great value in archiving the complete interviews. When making a film the interviews are manipulated through the editing process to achieve the filmmaker’s desired effect. Archiving the entire interviews allows others to understand the narrator’s full memories, interpretations and perceptions of past-observed events, which is crucial for recording community history.

This is a non-profit local effort to honor, document and help preserve two important historic buildings in Boulder, Colorado, the Gold Hill Inn and the Bluebird Lodge.