The Fremont Hotel, built in 1897, was a state-of-the-art, 70-room luxury hotel owned by H.L. Rice and his wife on three Front Street lots near the railroad station. The large dining room included the finest linen and silver. The hotel was described as one of the finest in the state with ‘rooms en suite’, baths, steam heat, electric bells and all modern conveniences. Service and cuisine were unexcelled.
The current owners (2015), Elks Lodge 611, bought the building in 1914 for $5,000 and spent another $10,000 to remodel. During the Royal Gorge Railroad Wars between the Denver & Rio Grande (D&RG) and the Santa Fe, a posse stayed at the Lodge. This posse was used to fight for the right of way for one of the railroads to build first through the Gorge. The war was settled in the courts, not the Gorge. However the Santa Fe lost too much money in the “war” and had to lease Fremont County Heritage Commission Self Guided Tours 6 its track to the D&RG to recoup its losses. One of the dispensations for its losses awarded by the court was a right of way from Pueblo to the coal camps with a station in northern Florence near the river. That building was moved and still exists as a private home on E. Main Street.