The Hermit of Arbor Villa

Frank Gimlett, otherwise known as ‘The Hermit of Arbor Villa’ owned two businesses in Salida: Colorado Wholesale Mercantile and Gimlett Lumber & Supply Co. In the 1940s, his Salida warehouse burned down and he subsequently lost interest in the business, abandoned his wife Gertrude, and moved above Maysville, Colorado, where he bought a small parcel of land, named it Arbor Villa (located between Maysville & Garfield), and became a hermit.

Most of his time was spent panning for gold in the surrounding gorges but he also sold post cards to tourists on the summit of Monarch Pass to make his ‘foldin’ money’. He was an advocate for the reinstatement of the gold standard and frequently traveled to the east visiting with congress to promote his agenda.


Special thanks to Morgan Brooks for donating this collection to the library.

The Hermit wrote an epic 9-volume set entitled Over Trails of Yesterday: Stories of Colorful Characters That Lived, Labored, Loved, Fought, and Died in the Gold and Silver West. These are all available below in pdf format.

The following are postcards that the Hermit sold to tourists –

The Hermit’s photograph collection

The Hermit as a young man, and a sampling of his poetry