Historic hotel road trip guide being created featuring Hotel Josephine

Some owners of historic hotels in Kansas are working together to establish an historic hotel road trip guide and Sara Fox, owner of Holton’s Hotel Josephine, reportedly is one of those involved in the project.

It’s a good idea and we wish the historic hotel owners good luck on the endeavor.

The Hotel Josephine, built in 1890, was once advertised as the longest continuously operating hotel east of the Mississippi River. 

There are reportedly more than a dozen historic hotels like Hotel Josephine, located in the state. Many of them were built in the 1880s or early 1900s near their town’s railroad stations for the convenience of train passengers.

Still today, travelers are often interested in the history of the hotels and communities they are staying in. That’s where local tourism efforts can pay off. The more we have to do in our communities to cater to travelers, visitors and day-trippers, the more they will visit and then the entire community will benefit.

Some of the other historic hotels involved in the historic hotel guide and the year they were built include Courtland Hotel And Spa at Fort Scott (early 1900s), Hotel At Old Town at Wichita (1906), Grand Central Hotel at Cottonwood Falls (1884), Weaver Hotel at Waterville (1905), Midland Railroad Hotel at Wilson (1899), Historic Elgin Hotel at Marion (1886), The Historic Wolf Hotel at Ellinwood (1894).

“Hotels are an important part of our local economy because when visitors are staying in our community, they are also shopping in our community and our boutiques,’’ Fox told the Topeka paper. “They are going to the cafes and going to the casinos and checking out our parks.’’

“What I have seen is these hotels help tell the story of a community and it helps preserve its character and personality,’’ says Bridgette Jobe, director of Kansas Tourism. “Often when you stay in one of these historic hotels, it’s telling the story of that community whether it’s through the stories they tell as you are checking in or the photography they have hung up.’’

Historic preservation is a common theme among historic hotel owners and many have already gained a spot on the National or Kansas Registry of Historic Places.

“…We are really wanting to open the door and encourage people to come in and see the preservation efforts and see what’s in rural America,’’ Fox said.

After more than a year of being pent up due to COVID-19 concerns, many people are ready to get out and explore their communities, regions, state and beyond. An historic hotel road trip sounds like a fun idea.         

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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