Inter Ocean Hotel once a jewel |

Inter Ocean Hotel once a jewel

Frontier DiaryWilla SoncartyRegistrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyMen gather in the 700 block of Blake Avenue about 1885 near what would become the Inter Ocean Hotel. In 1887, the Inter Ocean was advertised as the largest second class house west of Leadville. The only $2.00 a day house in the county offering first class accommodations, and lighted by electricity. A spectacular fire destroyed the hotel July 13, 1901. No lives were lost in the blaze.

At midnight on July 13, 1901, angry flames shot upward from the Inter Ocean Hotel. The fire alarm sounded, waking residents and volunteer members of the Glenwood Springs Fire Department. From the intensity of the fire, everyone knew the hotel was turning to ashes. The Inter Ocean Hotel had once been the jewel of Glenwood Springs rooming houses. Known originally as the Hotel Glenwood, the wood-framed building was purchased by Judge F.A. Barlow in the mid-1880s, moved to a lot on the east side of the 700 block of Blake Avenue, and reopened as a second-class hotel known as Grand Central. C.V. Noble made improvements to the building in 1887 and renamed the establishment the Inter Ocean Hotel.The neighborhood around the Inter Ocean soon grew to include four saloons, a shoe shop, a barbershop, a laundry, an assortment of lodging establishments, a print shop, a coal and hay merchant, and a photography studio. As businesses came and went, the Inter Ocean Hotel remained intact. However, by the 20th century, the hotel was no longer a second-rate rooming establishment; instead, it had gained a reputation as a flop house. The dryness of the buildings wood created the perfect fuel for an intense fire that July night. The fire department quickly arrived on the scene but, for reasons unknown, much of the fire departments hose had been loaned to the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Men retrieved the loaned hose and managed to save the surrounding buildings. The Inter Ocean was a complete loss. No official cause of the fire was listed, but a lighted cigar in the hands of an intoxicated hotel guest was suspected by some.Today, the Inter Ocean Hotel site serves as a parking lot for the Hotel Denver.Frontier Diary is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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