Franklin Hotel

    Located in Deadwood, SD, the Franklin Hotel opened in 1903 with many luxuries, including private baths in half of the 80 rooms. Over the years it hosted luminaries such as Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Buffalo Bill, Babe Ruth, and John Wayne.The Crash of ’29 forced the hotel to convert to apartments. It became a hotel again in 1989 when Deadwood legalized gambling. It underwent a major renovation in 2005 when it was purchased by the neighboring Silverado Casino. The first photo is dated 1910, and the third is from 1922.





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Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel is located on Mackinaw Island, MI, and was built in only 93 days in 1887. At 660 feet, the porch is considered the longest in the world. AAA gives it a 4 Star rating.The Grand Hotel is considered one of the finest hotels in the world. It celebrated it’s 130th birthday in July 2017.  The first photo is from the 1890s, the third is dated 1915, and the fifth is undated.



B/W copy print of the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan, c. 1915.




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La Fonda Hotel

The La Fonda is located in Santa Fe, NM, and sits on the site of the town’s first inn established in 1607, making it the oldest hotel site in the country’s oldest state capitol. The current structure was built in 1922 following a 1919 WWI bond drive. For the price of a $100 bond,  the buyer could drive a tank into the former inn as part of the demolition. From 1926 to 1968 the hotel was operated as one of the famous Harvey House hotel and restaurants. The first photo is from the 1930s.



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Willard Hotel

Located in Washington, DC, the Willard was originally six buildings connected as one in 1860. It boasted telephone service in 1878, movies in 1897, and air conditioning in 1937. The current Willard opened in 1901 and served many dignitaries until closing in 1968. The hotel sat vacant for many years and was nearly demolished. After the owners aligned with the Intercontinental Hotel Group, the Willard underwent extensive renovation and was re-opened  in 1986. It received AAA’s 4 Star Rating and has maintained that rating every year since. The first photo is dated 1860, the second 1900, the third 1910, and the fifth is from the early 1900s.







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Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel was built in 1912 before there even was a town of Beverly Hills. Shortly after completion it began to attract many Hollywood stars, i.e., Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Rudolph  Valentino, and Will Rogers. Harold Lloyd made part of a movie there in 1921, and an untold number of stars followed thereafter. Elizabeth Taylor spent six of her eight honeymoons there. The hotel closed from 1992 to 1995 for a $100,000,000 renovation. The first photo is dated 1912, the second 1921 (note position of the towers), the fourth 1925. The seventh shows Will Rogers in 1930 and then the pool in 1948.



Beverly Hills Hotel







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Audtorium Hotel

Located in Verona, WI., the Auditorium Hotel was so named because of the many performers who appeared there over the years. It was a very popular stage stop and today is occupied by Cahoots Bar.  The first photo is from the early 1900s. The third photo is dated 1911; note the stables to the right.






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The Broadmoor Hotel is located in Colorado Springs CO and was built in 1918. It has 779 rooms and 18 restaurants and sits on 3,000 acres. At one time the shooting school was run by Annie Oakley. It has been awarded a 5-star rating from Forbes for 55 consecutive years, the longest of any establishment in America. The hotel has also been awarded the 5 Diamond rating from AAA for 40 years. The first photo is from 1923 and shows the Gold Cup Award for the 300-mile endurance horse ride. The second photo shows a re-enactment in 2010 while the third shows the hotel in the 1930s.


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Crescent Hotel

Located in Eureka Springs, AR, the Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 and was considered one of the most luxurious of its time. However, winter weather kept many away, and it was later converted to a college. In 1937 a new owner turned it into a hospital and spa. He heavily advertised cures for cancer but ultimately spent four years in prison for fraud. In 1997, the building underwent a six-year renovation and is once again a hotel. Sci-Fi channel’s “Ghost Hunter” calls it the most haunted hotel in America, the crew having “seen” many former cancer patients. The first photo is dated 1886. The third is undated as is the fourth-my favorite-the donkey ride.





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Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Located 15 miles east of Montrose in western Colorado, the Black Canyon is a National Park whose name comes from the fact that parts of it receive only 33 minutes of sun per day. In 1882, after a year of construction of the 15-mile track, a narrow gauge railroad started service. The track had no more than 1/4 mile as it’s longest straight line. It was abandoned in 1955.  In 1901, after  having failed the previous year, the Torrence expedition set out to locate a site for diversion tunnels to utilize the Gunnison River to irrigate the valley. Although successful, the tunnel did not open until 1909. (Click to enlarge all photos.)

Day 1 Pelton/Torrence Failed 1900 Expedition

Pelton1900startNow (2)

The Narrows 1900 and 1916 (Kolb Expedition)





Brilliant green springtime trees and the Gunnison River, at the bottom of the Narrows of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Chipeta Falls 1883



Exclamation Point 1900 and with early tourists















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Iverson Movie Ranch Part Two

Continuing with the “rock stars” of Iverson Movie Ranch, we have Vultura’s Palace from the Perils of Nyoka, a 15-chapter Republic serial from 1942. These and several other photos are courtesy of  the largest website on all things  Iverson–         iversonmovieranch,



Sheep Flats Rock 1956



Wrench Rock in 5 Guns West 1955






Burned ferry building in Stagecoach, Batman Rock in background




…and, finally, Long Ranger Rock


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