Posts by: Kristi

Hereford, TX

Hereford, TX–

Driving through the Texas panhandle on US 60 is the town of Hereford, county seat of Deaf Smith County.  Like several towns across the plains, the town experienced a boom in the first half of the 20th century with boosters who saw unlimited potential.  Hereford had several hotels in the early decades of the 20th century: the Central, Cottage Home, Hereford, Corduva, Ritchie, Stockman’s, and Tygret.  They were all located within blocks of the courthouse and the train station.

With the onset of the depression, followed by World War II no new hotels were built.  After the war Deaf Smith citizens promoted the construction of a new modern hotel property.  Local rancher Jim Hill was the chairman of the finance committee entrusted to raise the money and build a new modern hotel.  He died just short of the completion and in his honor the new hotel was named after him.

The March 1950 issue of Texas Hotel Review has a two-page article on the hotel opening on February 24th.  The hotel was placed under the managementt of Associated Hotels a company based in Dallas that managed several hotels in smaller markets across the southwest.  The president of Associated John B. Mills attended the opening delivered a speech.

Sadly, the hotel no longer stands.  The hotel was across the street from the Deaf Smith courthouse.  The hotel opened a few years before the development of the interstate highways and the changing tastes of the travelling public.  The development of the motor inns, Holiday Inns, Howard Johnson, Best Western and dozens of other hotels all catering to the changing tastes in hotel travellers doomed most of the downtown hotels in small cities.

Why this is unique to me is that Hereford is a classic example of the rise, decline and evolution of the lodging needs in 20th century America.  Hereford is an example replicated by the thousands across the country.

Here are images of the Jim Hill Hotel courtesy of Portal to Texas History website.

http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth9711/m1/1/?q=hotel%20hereford

http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth9712/m1/1/?q=hotel%20hereford

http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth9663/m1/1/?q=hotel%20hereford

In 2013 I drove through Hereford and this corner is the location where Hotel Jim Hill was located.

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The Sands Motel was still in operation when I drover through Hereford in 2013.  The sign has that classic modern look. Notice that the neon tubing has been replaced by the flood lights.IMG_4293IMG_4296

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Yeso, NM

Yeso, NM–

Driving the back roads across New Mexico on US 60 I literally drove through the town of Yeso and had to turn around to make sure what I saw.  Before me were the crumbling remains of a small motel and possible gas station.  So far I have been unable to find any information on the name of the property.

Here are some links that give a brief background about Yeso.

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/nm/yeso.html

http://cityofdust.blogspot.com/2011/12/life-and-death-by-railroad-yeso-new.html

What intrigues me the most in these images is the ability to see what material was used in the construction of the buildings.  Based on the different material used in the construction of the building you can see how it was later added on to.

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Junction, TX

Junction, TX

The Los Lomas Hotel is still standing and looks to be in decent shape, though from my last visit to Junction the property appeared to be sitting empty.

The Fritz Hotel originally occupied the location of the Los Lomas Hotel. The original Fritz Hotel was built prior to 1921 and the structure was on Williamson Avenue with a portico. A newspaper article from 1918 described the Fritz hotel “a fine place to stop over night.” The owner of the hotel was Joe P. Fritz.

The first appearance in the Hotel Red Book for the Fritz Hotel was in 1928 with 45 rooms. Sometime between 1926 and 1933 the original Fritz Hotel was torn down and the current structure was built on the same property on Williamson Ave. The Hotel Red Book continues to list the hotel name and Joe Fritz as the manager but the hotel rooms decrease from 45 to 37 beginning in 1937.

The new structure was set back from the road with a circle drive. The building is in the Spanish Colonial style with white plaster walls and the red clay roof tiles. The hotel has a front porch with a balcony and small tower on the front of the building.

Joe Fritz remained manager until 1938. The hotel changed its name to the Los Lomas hotel in 1939. An article in the Texas Hotel Review notes that R.L. (Rudy) Kott was the new manager and described the hotel with 38 rooms, 24 baths all supplied with hot and cold water.

LosLomasTXHotelReviewApril1939

In 1946 the property was for sale listing all the features of the building.

LasLomasForSaleTXHotelReviewNov1946

Present day photos:

Ozona, TX

Ozona, Texas

There is not much information available on the two hotels located in Ozona, Texas. The smaller structure is called the Ozona Hotel. The larger building is Hotel Ozona. This could lead to confusion about the hotels if the word order is incorrect! There was no entry into the Hotel Red Book about these two hotels

The Ozona Hotel is on the North side of the town square. It is now a funeral home. According to the Texas State Historical Marker the building was built in 1893.

 

One block down on the northwest corner of the square is the Hotel Ozona.

I found an advertisement for the hotel in an issue of the 1939 Texas Hotel Review.

HotelOzonaApril1939TXHotelReview

Childress, TX

Childress, TX

Stopping in Childress I was able to find two hotel properties still standing: the Hotel Childress and the Majestic Hotel. Both properties look like they have been empty for several years and are showing the effects of neglect and age.

At one time, Childress had a thriving hotel trade. The first hotel from Childress I found in the Hotel Red Book was the Fagg Hotel. Its first appearance was in the 1913 edition showing that W.W. Fagg was the proprietor later Ms. M Fagg is listed as proprietor. It is no longer standing and Sanborn Maps show that there were a few other hotels listed prior to the Fagg Hotel.

Image link to the Fagg Hotel found on the Portal to Texas History website.

By the second decade of the 20th century more hotels were established in Childress and almost all with in blocks of the train depot. Among the hotels were the Denver soon to be renamed the Rhea Hotel, Union Hotel, and Thompson Hotel.

In the late 1920s the five story Hotel Childress opened up. The first entry in the Hotel Red Book was in 1929 with 75 rooms.

By the late 20s the first motor courts catering to the automobile travelers open up on the north side of downtown on the highway.

The Southern Hotel Journal in 1953 noted that E.H. Curry was the new manager of the Hotel Childress.  Curry was previously manager of the Hotel Yucca in Raton New Mexico for eight years and was the current president of the Rocky Mountain Hotel Association.  Curry was tasked with rehabilitating the Childress with new furnishings, carpet and the installation of air conditioning units for half the hotel rooms.

Hotel Childress:

I do not find any listing for the Majestic Hotel in the Red Books so its history is still a mystery to me.

Majestic Hotel:

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