Caliente’s Smith Cornelius Hotel Added to National Register of Historic Places
The Smith Cornelius Hotel in Caliente, a historic railroad town in southeastern Nevada, was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.
The Smith Hotel was most likely built in 1918 or 1919, since a newspaper advertisement dated 1919 promotes the Royal Cafe, located on the first floor of the hotel. Dr. and Mrs. J. Wesley Smith built the hotel and operated it until 1921 when the business was bought by W.W. Stockham. By 1928, the management had changed hands again, to Mrs. H. M. J. Cornelius, but the hotel was still called the Smith Hotel. Sometime after 1928 but before 1969, the name was changed to Scott Hotel. The Scott Hotel went out of business in approximately 1978.
Completion of the Pioche Branch of the railroad in 1907 made Caliente the railroad connection to the nearby Pioche mines, but pre-existing agriculture and ranching in the rich valley helped stabilize growth in Caliente.
The Smith Cornelius Hotel is a three-story structure situated at a bend in U.S. Highway 93 at the intersection with Spring Street. The building's exterior follows the line of both streets, which are angled at more than 90 degrees to each other. The upper floors are an irregular U-shape to allow all rooms to have windows. The building is significant for its architecture, as one of the oldest surviving buildings from the era and its simple vernacular architectural style reflecting the design tastes of the period and region.
During the 1920s the façade was painted with several signs advertising the hotel, drug store, barber shop and billiards. The first floor of the building always housed different commercial establishments.
For a current list of properties in the State Register of Historic Places and National Register of Historic Places, visit the State Historic Preservation Office's Web site at www.NevadaCulture.org (click on SHPO).
Media contact: Ron James, 775-684-3440 of firstname.lastname@example.org.