The First Hotel
The first hotel, a wooden structure, built at a cost of $50,000.00 was 300 feet long by 30 feet wide, with two wings 50 x 100. The main floor housed guest rooms, the post office, which was founded August 17 1889, the hotel business offices, dining rooms and other public rooms. A portion of the second floor, consisting of six rooms, was occupied by Mr. Albert Bettens, the manager and his wife. The kitchen, pantry and cold storage were housed in one wing off the dining room. Directly over the main entrance was a tower like structure which added a partial third floor and afforded views east and west. A large veranda extended the full length of the building. Several cottages were placed at convenient spots in the grounds to accommodate families or large parties.
The hotel, a cottage containing twenty rooms, the laundry, gas plant and ice plant were destroyed by fire, July 25, 1901. The fire was discovered about one o'clock while the guests were at lunch. The staff attempted 'to stop the fire, but were helpless with the equipment at hand. The 14 guests were gotten to safety with most of their baggage. At the time of the fire, Mead, as secretary of the Risdon Iron Works, was in Montana on business.
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