Cimarron Hotel
The Cimarron Hotel is an historic hotel located in Cimarron, a small town located in southwest Kansas. Cimarron, settled in 1878, was a notorious branch point on the historic Sante Fe Trail. At Cimarron, the trail divided, one branch heading southwest, the other following the Arkansas River to Bent's Fort (near La Junta, Colorado), then south over Raton Pass. Cimarron is the first town west of Dodge City on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad line. The hotel was built by Nicholas B. Klaine in 1886, at an investment of $15,000. With the completion of the first floor of the three-story brick structure, he launched the New West Echo, a Republican newspaper. The newspaper occupied the north half of the first floor of the Hotel. The Hotel opened as the New West Hotel and operated as one of seven serving pioneers who needed to come to town for supplies or for cowboys and ruffians who literally wanted to “get the heck out of Dodge”. Despite several severe economic depressions and droughts in the late 19th Century, Klaine continued to operate the Cimarron Hotel under several managers, until 1902. In that year, the New West Echo ceased publication and Klaine sold the hotel to the Luther family. The name was changed to "The Luther Inn." The Luther family owned the hotel until 1947 when they sold the hotel to Else Bartlow, who had been the secretary at the hotel. She changed the name to "the Cimarron Hotel." In 1977, the hotel was purchased by its current owner, Kathleen Holt. In the 1980s, the hotel underwent substantial renovations and became a restaurant, bed and breakfast lodging, and private home to the owner and her family. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. As of August 2007, a portion of the building is occupied by a quilt shop that also conducts quilting classes and seminars. The third floor of the building still comprises overnight quarters for guests. It has long been rumored that the original Cimarron Hotel register holds the signature “Bat Masterson and whore” but several reviews have not verified any such entry by the famous gunfighter. That being said, it is true that many notable people have stayed at the hotel over the years. The guest list includes Luke Short, one of the original Dodge City Front Street gunfighters, as well as Milburn Stone, who played "Doc" on the Gunsmoke television series. Senator Bob Dole also has been an overnight guest. With regard to Luke Short, the name of the famous gunfighter appears in a simple entry in the original 1887 registry with "Lukeville" listed as the city of residence. Luke Short was known to be a man of great humor. However, several years prior to this entry, Short was engaged in an altercation with the New West Hotel's owner Judge Nicholas Klaine. The circumstances surrounding the altercation have come to be known as "the Saloon Wars." It is speculated that Short's presence in Cimarron may have coincided with the timing of a lawsuit related to the Saloon Wars.

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