The history of the 98 year old Sedgwick Antique Inn is a fascinating history. According to the Mini-history of Sedgwick Hotel Building, it has survived changes of ownership, legal actions, interior remodeling, and a succession of commercial endeavors.
So let's take a quick trip down memory lane to see if we can learn some interesting tidbits about the building and it's occupants before Lupe Casias came to be the owner, shall we?
Carrie L. McGrew sold the land upon which the Sedgwick Antique Inn sits to the Farmers State Bank of Sedgwick on May 15, 1920. By July 15, it was known that B. N. Weinsheim, the new banker at Sedgwick, was a business visitor to the county seat and that he had drawings for his new bank building with him, which was said to be,"... a beauty and a structure that Sedgwick can be proud of."
At the time the idea for this building was conceived, there was no paved road to take citizens quickly and easily to Julesburg or Sterling," says the Mini-history. "Sedgwick residents shopped in town. Area farmers and ranchers came in on Saturdays for their weekly or monthly supplies. The town was small but prosperous. The downtown area supplied any service needed...from blacksmithing to banking. And it was the Farmers State Bank that initiated construction of the two-story brick hotel.
In September, 1920, ownership transferred to the Sedgwick Investment Co.
Businesses began moving into the newly completed structure in April 1921.
In June 1921, Mrs. May Hinman arrived from Denver and was "getting the rooms on the second story of the Famers State Bank Building ready for occupancy by the 15th of June." The upstairs hotel rooms soon became occupied by school teachers, travelers, newly arrived persons awaiting relocation into permanent dwellings, and, occasionally, rural patients needing hour-to-hour medical attention.
Three years later the Sedgwick Realty Co. took charge of the property. According to an advertisement in the Julesburg Grit-Advocate of May 6, 1926, the hotel was under new management. "Newly Redecorated and Refinished. Thoroughly Modern. Hot and Cold Water in Every Room. Steam Heat. Rooms with Bath. Rates: $1.25 to $2.50..."
A signature advertisement in the May 22, 1930 Sedgwick Independent touted the "Sedgwick Hotel – Strictly Modern – Sedgwick's Only Hotel – Mrs. Roy (Peggy) Nelson, Proprietor." After operating the New Sedgwick Hotel for seven years, the economic crash resulted in Nelson relinquishing her lease on September 1, 1932. The hotel had been taken over by the holding company but a new manager had not been named.
In 1940 the hotel was purchased from the Capitol Life Insurance Co. by Mr. Charles Stubbs.
In March 1948, it was reported: "A few years ago the New Sedgwick Hotel building was an eyesore, run down, windows, broken out, but today it has been put in first class repair and is housing four new businesses. Sedgwick Hotel, operated by Mr. and Mrs. Janck Boone is tops. Modern, clean, good beds, and is doing a good business..."
Howard Bixler of Lafayette, Colo. purchased the Sedgwick Hotel building through Inter-State Real Estate Co., Denver in January 1965.
R.B. Busteed of Boulder reopened the hotel June 5, 1967. Mrs. Orrin (Robbin) Mills was manager. It was advertised, "A major cleaning and renovation program is underway at the hotel. They have apartments as well as rooms for rent by the day, week, or month, according to the Julesburg Grit-Advocate."
In 1971 Dennis and Irene Johnson purchased the hotel building for Shekinah Church purposes, however during the church's ownership from 1971 into 1992, facilities were leased to various individuals for a wide range of business purposes. After a 20-year struggle to maintain the building and not finding a buyer, Shekinah was forced to put the property up for auction through a Sheriff's Sale September 16, 1991. It was reported by the Julesburg Advocate that the church bought the building back...hoping that someone would need the building sooner or later. The Shekinah church maintained the longest consecutive ownership, from 1971 to 1992.
December 1994, Lina Reese O'Kelly and her daughter, Diane Pugh, opened a boarding house in the hotel building. Rates were reported as "reasonable" and rooms could be rented by the day, week or month with meals furnished for a nominal fee. While striving to retain the historic atmosphere of the property, Linda and Diane had installed a computer and fax machine for handling reservations and other day-to-day business.
In October 1998 Jim and Marion Doman began the process of purchasing the hotel from B. J. Ball, and called it Centennial Inn. Marion, an avid antique collector, and her husband worked on a sitting room and library upstairs. Downstairs, the large north room was renovated into "The B. J. Ball Room"with facilities to host wedding parties, dances, and other events. Jack Armstrong, a local musician, played for dances once a month.
That brings us to Lupe Casias, who currently owns the property and has operated it as the Sedgwick Antique Inn since 2002 when she and Fred Casias purchased it. The two published an Open House advertisement in the August 15, 2002 issue of the Julesburg Advocate, inviting visitors in town for the Sedgwick Harvest Festival to "enjoy a step back in time".
Back then the facilities were described this way: "...party room, two full kitchens, 14 bedrooms, three apartments, and even the original bank vault and furnace in the basement."
Lupe originally decorated the Inn using some of the furnishings from a 1940 renovation, along with numerous antique items she has collected over the years. Even today, Lupe's love of lace and flowers, which is evident throughout the Inn, portrays a simple elegance and charm one might associate with Grandma's house.
The above information was taken from the Mini-history of Sedgwick Hotel Building, published by the Fort Sedgwick Historical Society, Julesburg, Colorado in July 2003.