A century later, Hotel Osceola has stories to tell
Monday, September 18, 2017
The opening of the Hotel Osceola a century ago was heralded with a grand banquet and a front-page story in the Osceola Sun.
The concrete and brick structure was built to last, with the highest fire proofing standards of the day. The interior was equipped with state of the art amenities, according to the Osceola Historical Society’s “Osceola: A Village Chronicle” — a spacious lobby, two living rooms, a ladies restroom and dining area that could seat 100. To stay the night was $2.50. If a traveler wanted one of the two rooms with a private bath, the price was 50 cents more.
The former hotel still sits at the corner of Cascade and Third Avenue, repurposed as apartment homes. Owners Nathan and Jillian Newes-Opatz will celebrate the building’s 100-year anniversary — a milestone reached in late May — with an ice cream social and displays the weekend of July 21 in coordination with River, Rails and Trails Days (for event details, see page 12).
The current owners bought the building October 24, 2007, from Richard A. Gregory, Sr. and Deborah J. Gregory.
Working with the Osceola Historical Society to learn more about the building’s history, Nathan Newes-Opatz and longtime tenant and building caretaker Norman Gaulin have restored several of the building’s original 1917 features, such as the floors and high ceilings. They have also collected historic photos of the building and have turned the lobby into a gallery for the building’s history.