Longmire Hotel – 1898

Hotel at Longmire, 1898
Hotel at Longmire, 1898

The back of this pictures reads . . . Picture taken of the hotel at Longmire August 1898.

I’m not sure if this if this the Longmire hotel, but that would be a good guess. And it looks like the picture online.  A simple, 5-room hotel was built by Longmires built in 1890 and later expanded.  If it is the original Longmire Springs Hotel it was torn down by the Rainier National Park around 1920.

Below is and excerpt comes from Wikipedia. I can’t vouch for it’s accuracy. But it gives you a bit of background.

Hotel History
“In 1890, Longmire built a 5-room hotel, which was later expanded. By 1906, the Longmire’s hotel with assorted tents and cabins totaled 30 rooms. In that year, the Tacoma and Eastern Railroad built the original National Park Inn at Longmire, a three-story building with accommodation for 60 guests. Having a competitor establish in the Longmire area soured relations between the National Park and the Longmire family. There followed some legal disputes between the Longmires and park officials including the opening of a saloon by Robert Longmire (James’ son) and its subsequent closure by Acting Superintendent Grenville F. Allen who thought it a “public nuisance.

Hotel Longmire Springs postcard to A. Peterson
Hotel Longmire Springs postcard to A. Peterson

Constructed in an early rustic style, a Hiker’s Center was built in 1911 by the Tacoma and Eastern Railroad. It is now the Longmire general store.

The Longmires wearied of park pressures to improve their facilities, and after Elcaine’s death in 1915, they leased their property to the newly formed Longmire Springs Hotel Company in 1916. The new operators promptly built an additional hotel structure along with 16 wood-frame cabins. Although the property was cleaned up and improved, operating as “The New Longmire Springs Hotel,” it still did not meet the quality level of the National Park Inn across the road.

Steven T. Mather, the first director of the National Park Service developed a policy which favored regulated monopolies over competing concessioners in the National Parks. Over a number of years the National Park Service worked to make the Rainier National Park Company the only concessionaire in the park.

Hotel Longmire Springs postcard to A. Peterson (ca. 1912)
Hotel Longmire Springs postcard to Anna Peterson (ca. 1912)

This was completed in 1919 when the Rainier National Park Company purchased the Longmire family buildings and a 20 year lease on the Longmire’s private inholding for $12,000 in a three way deal which included J.B. Ternes and E.C. Cornell, owners of the Longmire Springs Hotel Company. They eventually bought the Longmire family property, after the lease expired in 1939.

Rainier National Park Company moved the 1916 Longmire Springs Hotel structure next to the next to the National Park Inn in 1920. Smaller than the existing inn, it became known as the National Park Inn Annex — a 2.5-story building with plain exteriors, it contained seventeen guest rooms.

The Rainier National Park Company eventually demolished the original 1890 Longmire Springs Hotel and utility buildings in the area to “improve the appearance” of the area.”

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

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  1. Pingback: Eatonville to Rainier » Eatonville Dispatch June 23, 1916

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