Castle Construction...

The property on which Miramont Castle is located is part of a parcel of land whose earliest deed dates back to 1862, and was once owned by one of Colorado's most controversial citizens, Colonel John Chivington, who commanded the infamous Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. Records show he sold the land in 1867 through his son-in-law, who had power of attorney, but he later filed suit claiming that he had not given the power of attorney. The case was decided against him.

The Colorado Springs Company, founded by General William Palmer, is listed on the deeds from 1871 until 1882, when it sold the property to the City of Manitou.

Fr. Francolon had collected architectural ideas from his early years of travelling the world with his diplomat father, who served as his own architect. The Gillis brothers, Angus and Archie, were contractors of the Castle, and according to a daughter of Angus Gillis, Fr. Francolon sat at a table in the Gillis home for countless hours while his plans were described in detail for the builders.

William Frizzell, like the Gillis brothers, came from Nova Scotia, and was a versatile entrepreneur. He and his sons had cleared land for horses, built roads, and constructed the stone arch bridges over Ruxton and Fountain Creeks. They quarried and hand cut the native green sandstone for Miramont's two-foot thick walls.

Construction began in the fall of 1895. The Manitou Springs Journal reported progress on the construction in its issues through the spring and summer of 1896, in November proclaiming it to be "one of the handsomest and most artistic buildings in Colorado." The east section began in 1897.

Miramont, which means "look at the mountain," had indoor plumbing and electricity when it was built, as electricity had become available in the late 1880's when Angus Gillis built El Paso county's first electric generator in Manitou for Dr. Isaac Bell.

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