Eat like a local in the new Touch Gallery

Eat like a local in the new Touch Gallery

Anyone can eat at home. But when we’re tired, or out of food, or just want something different, we go to a restaurant. More than just a fancy French word for a place to eat out, a restaurant is where we gather, relax, and connect.

Every town has its favorites. At the Golden History Museum, the newly refreshed Touch Gallery explores the Holland House—a hotel famous for food. Hotel, dining rooms, coffee shop, lounge—the Holland House had it all. Lu and Ethel Holland arrived in 1944 from Montana. Lu worked as chef and assistant manager at the LaRay Hotel, then he and Ethel bought the place in 1946 and renamed it the Holland House. They remodeled two of the hotel rooms and lived there for 40 years.

The Holland House drew people in from all over the region for pies, biscuits, steaks, and all the wonderful art adorning its walls. Today, you might know the space as the home of the Table Mountain Inn.

Melanie puts finishing touches on Will Rogers at Metro Frame Works

You can expect to see some new artifacts in the Touch Gallery. Greg Holland (grandson to the owners and one-time manager) has donated two paintings by Marian Robertson. Commissioned in 1946 by Lu Holland, the portraits of Buffalo Bill and Will Rogers hung in the Holland House lobby for nearly 40 years. After extensive conservation and framing, they’re sure to impress.

Kris Weckerling donated the reception desk from the Holland House lobby. For years, she was using it in her dog boarding business. When our local Pizza Hut moved to a new location, Lorna Crawford donated a couple of dining tables for our project, too. It’s really been a community effort.

Touch Gallery is still family-centric. Play is encouraged, and there are things to touch—like fake food.

Our designers have developed a cool placemat activity that’s fun for all ages. We have the bases covered with a crossword puzzle, connect the dots, a Mad Libs–inspired story, and a word scramble. The gallery also has a play kitchen complete with sink, stove, and refrigerator.

I hope this show brings back fond memories for anyone who spent time around Golden between the 1940s and ’80s, and maybe gets you to ponder your favorite food memories. The new Touch Gallery opens on October 3.

Got a Holland House memory? Please let me know.

Mark Dodge, Curator

Curatorial Assistant Vanya Scott cleans years of grime from actual dining room tables from the local Pizza Hut in Golden.


Original Holland House pre-rehab reception desk waits in storage at the City of Golden shops.

Jared from Growth Ring Innovations helps install the play kitchen.


Moving the Holland House desk into the museum required a bit of effort.