Amizette Inn History


The Amizette Inn, in its original one room log cabin structure, dates back to the romantic and exciting times of prospecting and mining for gold “in them there hills” of Sangre de Cristo mountains. About 1869 gold was discovered at various points along the Rio Hondo turning this small town overnight into a gold rush ghost town with saloons and dance halls. Its first post office — established in 1893 as a result of a gold rush — was discontinued in 1902. ¬†Then in the 1880’s and 90’s the mining camps of Amizette and Twining came into existence. During these thriving times the Amizette was joined to the Denver and Rio Grande railway station, located in Tres Piedras, by a daily stagecoach run.

Mining days in Taos

A local miner owned and operated the town store. Visitors who came to the area stayed in the mining town’s hotel.

Amizette Grandmother decendent of original NM Amizette (1)

The innkeeper and first prospector, Al Helphenstines, wife became the namesake for the “Amizette” mining camp. Around about 1895 mining activity dwindled in the Amizette Valley and mining crews relocated to the upper canyon of the Rio Hondo. The gold was still there but the town (highest population 350) died for lack of a cheap way to get the gold out. The new mining camp was named “Twining” currently known as Taos Ski Valley. The Hondo River can be viewed from the Amizette Dining room.