Emporium 1 2013

Idaho Springs, Colorado was founded in 1859 by prospectors during the early days of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. During the late twentieth century, the town evolved into a tourist center. The Argo Gold Mine and Mill in Idaho Springs reflects the evolution of the town, from it’s necessary function to help process ore from the mining district to its present day role as a tourist attraction and status on the National Register of Historic Places. The huge maroon colored structure can easily be seen from I-70 as you travel west from Denver (about 30 minutes). There are many more historic buildings in the 19th century mining town with many fun shops and restaurants.
One of the oldest (1879) commercial buildings still standing in Idaho Springs houses the Emporium Irish Store. The structure located at 1620 Miners Street has served many functions over the years including a liquor store, newspaper office, Wells Fargo gift shop, and meat market (You can still see huge hooks in ceiling). Now when you walk through the front door you will see the latest Irish/Celtic imports from Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales, and works from some of the finest craftsmen in the USA.
Mary Ann Dalpes, the owner of the Emporium, recently traveled with store employees (many who are family members) to the Ireland Show in Secaucus, New Jersey. They picked from some of the best authentic Celtic giftware to put on display back home at the Emporium. Customers can now browse fantastic merchandise and pick out a wonderful variety of items— Best-selling knitwear, baby items, Irish linens, fragrances, traditional Irish arts and fabulous jewelry -or check out the whimsical, brightly designed aprons, tea towels to accompany your Barry’s Tea and Irish candies – Design your next dinner with cookbooks from the Cake Café, in Dublin, and SO much more! “I could have named the store the Irish dresser,” joked Mary Ann, “because it has so many one of a kind and diverse selection of gifts items”.
A stroll around the Emporium and you’ll see that it was properly named. A definition of ‘emporium’ is “a store carrying many different kinds of merchandise” Not only does the Emporium have great Irish and Celtic wares, they also carry many other unique gift items and antiques reflecting Colorado’s mining and pioneer history. “There are hidden treasures in the back room,” said Mary Ann’s husband Daniel, “histories of Clear Creek, Georgetown, Central City, Black Hawk, Colorado books, music, mining maps and memorabilia… It might look like a museum, but this stuff is for sale!
The Emporium has evolved into a destination Irish Celtic Shop with visitors from all parts of Colorado as well as annual skiers and vacationers from other states and countries -including Ireland. Many repeat customers make it a point to stop at the Emporium as part of their yearly vacation plans. Frequently guests comment on the peaceful, friendly and eclectic nature of the shop. Enjoy Idaho Springs and the Emporium this summer – you’ll be impressed!
The Emporium, 1620 Miner Street, Idaho Springs, CO. Store hours are 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week. Call 303-567-1151 with any questions.
A few events in Idaho Springs this summer: Farmer’s Market Every Friday at Courtney Ryley Cooper Park (May 31- Sept. 13); Lyle Wohlers Horseshoe Tournament Idaho Springs Elks Club June 22; Clear Creek RapidGrass July 5-6; 25th Annual Triple Bypass July 13-14; Blues in the Canyon Aug 10; Dynamite Days August 24; Flaming Foliage Relay Sept. 13; Rocky Mountain Chili Cook-off Sept 21.

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