Western History & Genealogy Blog
Early Steamboat Springs Visitors
The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association image portrays the first hotel in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the Sheridan Hotel, located on Lincoln Avenue. Available on the 5th floor of the Denver Public Library in the Western History/Genealogy Department is an early register of that hotel, collection number WH341. Three pages are included to provide samples of the contents of the register. Henry Schaffnit, the first owner of this building is listed in the 1896 to 1903 hotel register as the proprietor. Guests signed the register under a notation of each date. Beside each guest's name, residences are listed. The locations vary from California, Illinois, Texas, and Kansas to Iowa. As one would expect, the bulk of the guests were from Colorado. They listed hometowns such as Elk River, Aspen, Denver, Greeley, Breckenridge, Rocky Ford and Trinidad among others. The majority of the visitors were male, presumably traveling on business trips. Most signatures remain legible, though sometimes nineteenth-century scrawls can be difficult to decipher. One particular gentleman who signed the register as many as a dozen times between 1896 and 1902 was George Vail. He listed his residence first as Deep Creek, Colorado, then as Hayden, as Elk Head and, finally, as Deep Creek again. Besides residence, the proprietor often noted the time of arrival, room number and wake-up calls requested. Between each page of guest information, a blotter page was provided with advertisements of local businesses. Residents of Steamboat Springs may want to peruse the lists of individuals and the advertisements in this hotel register to discover ancestors or, maybe, visitors of their ancestors.