Hotels of the Old West

by Richard A Van Orman

Published by: Indiana University Press

178 Pages, 5.00 x 8.00 x 0.00 in, 22 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253042705
  • Published: July 2019


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Need a room for the night in the Old West? No problem. Hotels had sprung up everywhere, from forgotten cow towns to the bustling city of San Francisco. The farther from the railroad, the more horrifying the accommodations—your only option was likely a roach-infested hotel, barely held together by boards covered with cloth and paper. But that wasn't always the case. Nestled in the Rockies in Georgetown, Colorado, for instance, stood the Hotel de Paris, founded by a French deserter and boasting an excellent wine cellar, exquisite cuisine, and outstanding library.

Hotels of the Old West reveals the fascinating story of the hotels and hospitality houses—the grand, the deplorable, and the just plain dependable—that flourished and failed in the nineteenth century. Historian Richard A. Van Orman draws on records, autobiographies, letters, and journals to offer a compelling look at the early hotels, their food and living conditions, the people who ran and worked in them, and those who just stayed for a night.