The Smith Hotel

The Smith Hotel (HM17CE)

Location: Seneca, KS 66538 Nemaha County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 50.046', W 96° 3.692'

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Captain John E. Smith was Seneca's first entrepreneur. In 1858 he built a simple hotel and tavern on this site. He also built a wooden bridge over the Nemaha River that bypassed the risky ford crossing two miles north at Richmond. These developments convinced the firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell to run their Overland Stage and Pony Express routes through Seneca. Smith Hotel became the first Pony Express Home Station west of St. Joseph.

The hotel offered comfortable beds and good meals for weary travelers heading west. Pony Express riders were encouraged to avoid the tavern and head straight to bed for a good night's rest before setting out the next day.

After the end of the Pony Express in 1861, Smith sold his hotel and Main Street grew up around it. In 1870, the first railroad arrived in Seneca and merchants wanted more prosperous-looking brick and stone buildings on Main. A brick addition to the right of the original hotel added more modern rooms. Eventually the original wooden structure was lifted and moved down Main to the north side of 7th Street where it became a rooming house. The space on the corner was filled in 1885 with this brick building.
HM NumberHM17CE
Series This marker is part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail series
Placed ByCity of Seneca and Kansas Humanities Council
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 5:59pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 751452 N 4413476
Decimal Degrees39.83410000, -96.06153333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 50.046', W 96° 3.692'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 50' 2.76" N, 96° 3' 41.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)785
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 402 Main St, Seneca KS 66538, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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