Anthony Arnett was an adventurer, traveler, gold seeker and businessman. Born in 1819 in the Alsace-Lorraine, he moved to rural Illinois as the age of 9. There he married, farmed and worked in the mercantile business. During the Gold Rush, he sailed to San Francisco – surviving a shipwreck in Chile – to seek his fortune. He became prosperous, but as a businessman, not a prospector.
In 1859, Arnett was one of Boulder’s first settlers. In 1874, he built the Arnett Hotel on Pearl Street. Rooms were $3 a night with a warm fireplace costing 25 cents extra. It was Boulder’s largest public gathering place at the time and the center of entertainment, hosting guests like P.T. Barnum and General Ulysses S. Grant.
Arnett was a generous donor to the University of Colorado in Boulder, his legacy recognized in the naming of Arnett Residence Hall.