Salida was a booming railroad town during the late 1800's and early 1900's. It was a hub for miners with nearby claims. Turret, an old mining camp twelve miles northeast of Salida, can be visited today in preferably a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Across the Arkansas River from the Inn property stands what is left of old Smeltertown. Molten silver and lead flowed from the furnaces and sulfur billowed from smoke stacks built to divert the pollution from closeby farmlands. The tallest still stands left as an historic landmark to the town.
The Chaffee County Poor Farm had a large garden, milk cows, chickens and a horse. The residents known as "inmates" numbered from fifteen to twenty. Most were elderly or destitute although records show some single men and some orphaned children. The original layout of the building had thirteen rooms including a kitchen, dining room and sleeping rooms. It was built at a cost of $6371.95 and the first superintendent earned $5.00 day to run the institution. Unsupported references have been made that the home was known as the County Hospital. A fallen little house still sits in the meadow behind the property named the "Pest House" Those with contagious diseases wer quarantined here before the discovery of penicillin.