Sedan, KS

Historic Bradford Hotel in Sedan, Kansas is now home to Gunnar's Bourbon

CJ Coombs
Bradford Hotel, Sedan, Kansas.Photo byAlishasmith1005, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Bradford Hotel located at 103 North Chautauqua in Sedan, Kansas (Chautauqua County) was constructed in 1904, some 119 years ago. On November 28, 2007, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This three-story historic hotel is also known as the Huffman Hotel. The architectural style is Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movements: Commercial. The foundation is native stone which you can see and the walls are brick. The building is important because it was part of the commercial development downtown. Constructing the building is credited to A. J. Denick and Tot Smith.

At the time the building was nominated for the National Register, the owner was Sedan Area Foundation. The building is in the middle of the commercial district.

Originally, the hotel had 38 rooms, lobby, dining area, and kitchen. The lobby area contains a tile floor and decorative metal ceiling. Also in the lobby is a wooden staircase for the upper floors.

In 2007, the first floor was being renovated. An elevator was installed and the plaster walls were replaced with drywall. The second and third floors contain the original wood flooring among other things.

The hotel was built during the period when oil and gas were discovered close by. Those who were associated with the oil, gas, and cattle industries had been at the hotel which operated for 70 years.

Sedan began to build up their town once it was known the railroad would be coming. Buildings went up in the commercial district. In 1885, some outer homes and farms were damaged or destroyed due to a flood. They did rebuild and in 1886, the Missouri Pacific Railroad reached Sedan.

A subsequent building boom occurred in 1903 with the discovery of oil and gas by Sedan. In the following year, the Bradford Hotel was constructed. In 1922, streets were being paved. Like other cities and businesses, the Great Depression had its effects. Fortunately, the area of Sedan had oil, gas, cattle, and hogs to keep it going.

From 1904 to 1974, the Bradford Hotel was the only hotel in Chautauqua County. The hotel lobby was a place for businessman making their cattle and oil deals. Also, it served as a bus station.

The Bradford Hotel was built by several businessmen who donated the property for its construction, which officially opened in 1905.

The hotel didn't have modern plumbing, so it was one of those bowl and pitcher hotels. The hotel was known as the Huffman Hotel between the late 1920s through 1941 when it was owned by the Huffman family.

After World War I, owners started buying and collecting materials to modernize the hotel. Aside from different hotel guests in various industries, some people also lived in the hotel for years. During the 1950s and 1960s, spaces were on the first floor for a dental office and a barbershop.

The hotel closed in 1974 until around 1985. After that, the first floor housed a restaurant, shoe shop, and a candy manufacturing shop. In 2001, the Sedan Area Foundation acquired the property. The hope was to renovate it back to a 32-room hotel including a lobby, elevator, gift shop, and dining area.
Photo byFacebook/Gunnar's Bourbon.

Today, however, the building has been repurposed into Gunnar's Bourbon Company. Another historic building is kept alive.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and author/publisher with a BA in Eng Journalism/Creative Writing. I worked in law firms for 30+ years and retired early to pursue writing. I was born into the Air Force, so you could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, research, history, true crime, reading, art, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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