Discovering the Legacy of Lamer Hotels: Unveiling a Storied Past

Discovering the Legacy of Lamer Hotels: Unveiling a Storied Past
Postcard from Museum’s Collection, c1950

Step back in time with a captivating postcard from the Smoky Hill Museum's collection, showcasing the illustrious chain of Lamer Hotels. In its heyday, the Lamer empire employed an impressive workforce of over 250 individuals, offering hospitality in a grand total of 600 rooms. Not just limited to this ambit, the Lamers also held ownership of hotels in Junction City, Kansas and Ponca City, Oklahoma.

The origins of this captivating tale can be traced back to 1887, when a visionary group of businessmen raised a staggering $100,000 to erect a landmark hotel in Salina. It wasn't long before their dream took shape, and in 1888, the magnificent National Hotel graced the northwest corner of Santa Fe and Ash, standing tall with its initial three floors. As time unfolded, a fourth floor was thoughtfully added, signifying the hotel's growth and prominence in the hospitality landscape. Offering more than a hundred opulent rooms, the National Hotel quickly became a cherished destination for travelers from far and wide.

A momentous turning point arrived in 1915 when the illustrious C.W. Lamer, renowned for his entrepreneurial acumen, acquired the National Hotel. With this acquisition, the hotel donned a new identity, the famed Lamer Hotel, embarking on an era of even greater distinction and allure. For over half a century, the Lamer Hotel played host to countless cherished memories and unforgettable moments.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and the hotel's final chapter unfolded in 1966 when it was razed to make way for newer developments. Nevertheless, the memory of the Lamer Hotel lives on, etched into the annals of Salina's history, celebrating the legacy of a remarkable man and his indelible contribution to the world of hospitality.

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