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Monday, April 13, 2009

Hotel Bourbon, Sitting Vacant by the Tracks

Over the weekend, I passed through Bourbon, Missouri and saw the old Bourbon Hotel. The abandoned railroad hotel apparently dates to the 1890s and served some time as a hostel before closing in the late 20th century. Many cities along the Frisco line had hotels like this one, with wide front porches facing the tracks. As passenger rail service declined, so did the economic life of these hotels.

There are no buildings in Bourbon listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and only five sites in all of Crawford County are included in the National Register. The Bourbon Hotel easily could be the sixth. My hosts did not know who owned the hotel, or what plans -- if any -- exist for preservation.

A short, spirited history of Bourbon (including origin of the name) can be found here. The conclusion is quite a treat: "Bourbon has never aspired to be a big city, with a cold, business-like attitude. Instead, Bourbon's businessmen and civic leaders strive to keep the friendly, neighborly manner that has long been an Ozark tradition. Bourbon people are just plain folks, who like to make friends and make you feel at home."


Unknown said...

bourbon is a great little town. Just dont speed!


samizdat said...

I run on the assumption that ALL small towns are speedtraps. Lovely pile o'bricks, BTW. They sure don't make 'em like they used to.

Colemankid said...

I was just in Bourbon Yesterday and the Hotel still sits as shown. They are keeping the grounds mowed, but it still sits wholly ignored. Thanks for pointing it out, it is a great part of Bourbon history. So is the old Watkins house that is now a tavern on Pine street.