Western Hotel

Drawing of the Western Hotel
Picture by John Michael Patterson

The Western Hotel is a unique building in Ouray. It is the only remaining three story wooden building west of the Mississippi River. All the others burned down long ago. It was built in 1891, one of the most successful years yet. Mining in Ouray was going very strong. In 1893, the silver panic happened. The original owners had to sell. From 1893 to 1916, it had many owners. Luckily, in 1916 it was again blessed with caring managers, Floro and Marie Flor. The Flors ran a boardinghouse for miners. Each miner had a small room, but they all shared one bathroom. Can you imagine the ring around the bathtub at the end of the night? Meals were served family style. Many of the customers were miners who came from Austria and Italy and spoke very little English. Mother Flor took good care of them and helped welcome them to Ouray. The Flors sold it in 1946. From 1946 to1962, it had many owners once again. In 1962, Johnny Johnson opened the hotel as a museum. By 1970, the museum closed down, after only a few years of success. From 1971 to the present time, it has had many owners. The Western has special place in Ouray History.

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