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Learn about River Run Inn, Bed and Breakfast History, Salida Colorado - your Bed and Breakfast choice when staying in Salida Colorado!

Salida Colorado - History of River Run Inn Bed and Breakfast

Pencil Drawing of Inn
River Run Inn was originally built as Chaffee County's Poor Farm in 1892.  Poor Farms, Poor Houses or Alms Houses were tax supported institutions where individuals, unable to support themselves, were required to go and work for their keep.  Poor Farms dotted the United States until the early 1940's when our welfare system became established.
Historic Inn Photo

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.


Inn Front

In the early 1940's the Poor Farm stood empty.  The Community Hall Association acquired it to hold dances on the restructured second floor and provided a meeting room for public use including Grange meetings, 4-H and County Fair activities. Dottie and Herb Hostetler bought the building in 1985 after years had passed of varied use and dilapidation.  They made it into their dream Bed and Breakfast, naming it the Poor Farm Country Inn.  The transformation was Cinderella-like and they proudly got the building on the Historic Register.  After twelve years as innkeepers, the Hostetlers sold the Inn to Virginia Nemmers.  It was renamed River Run Inn.  Sally Griego and Brad Poulson are the third and current owners and have recently remodeled it again to be an elegant Victorian home.


River Run Inn Today

Today River Run Inn stands as an example of historic places that have been given new life.  Yet stories of old are still a vital part of this beautiful place that sits overlooking the Arkansas River. Standing on the bank one can't help but contemplate the continuous flow of life since days gone past long ago.


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River Run Inn, 8495 County Road 160, Salida Colorado 81201 |

800-385-6925 | (719) 539-3818
Sally Griego & Brad Poulson
Owner/ Innkeepers

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