During the early years of Lancaster, many hotels served visitors and more permanent residents alike. The Western Hotel is the only remaining structure of these original relics of Lancaster history, built-in 1888. It was originally called the Gilwyn Hotel, with its name being changed in the early 1900s. Despite it being the only remaining of these structures, it had multiple competitors during its years of operation.
One of its primary competitors was the Lancaster Hotel. This hotel was built before the Western Hotel, in 1886 by a man named William Story. B.E. Hannah would become its proprietor. Typical rates to stay here ran at $1.00 and $1.25 a day to $6.00 per week. It was advertised as being the “largest and most convenient hotel in the Antelope Valley”, with “reading, bath rooms and parlors in connection”. Advertisements include the captions that “transient patronage” was a specialty.
In 1904, the Lancaster Hotel had a new proprietor, Ed. H. Smith. Advertisements from this time include the phrase “The best of Everything is the Motto lived up to”, still claiming to be the “most convenient” hotel in Lancaster. Stays here also included a pick up from the nearby train drop-off.
At one point, George and Myrtie Webber (long time owners of the Western Hotel) began to manage the Lancaster Hotel. However, during a devastating fire in 1919, the Lancaster Hotel was unfortunately destroyed.
"Gurba, Norma H. Lancaster. Arcadia, 2005.
Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections"