The Museum’s History: In 1865, the tract on which Miramont Castle was later constructed was owned by Colonel John Chivington, who commanded the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre. Later, the ownership of the land transferred to the Colorado Springs Company, of which General William Jackson Palmer was part owner. Then in 1892, Father John Baptiste Francolon, a Catholic priest, purchased the parcels on which the Castle now sits. He, with the help of local carpenter Angus Gillis, designed the Miramont Castle. When Francolon left Colorado in 1900, he deeded Miramont to the Sisters of Mercy, who used the building as a tuberculosis sanitarium, which closed in 1928 because of financial hardship. However, the Sisters continued to use the building from 1928 to 1946 as a retreat, until it was sold to nine successive owners. In 1976, the Manitou Springs Historical Society learned that the neglected building was slated for demolition and purchased the Castle for $60,000. A Colorado Centennial-Bicentennial grant was given to study and restore the building in 1976, and in 1977, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Society now owns and operates the Museum, which is open to the public year-round.