We recently came into ownership of the 1858 Garnett House Hotel in Garnett, Kansas. This structure is the only known standing antebellum building in Anderson County Kansas and the very last one remaining in the city of Garnett. This was the first frame built structure in the entire area; originally built as a home but within less than a years time, was traded to a man who made it the towns first hotel.
Over the years, this hotel saw many individuals that we still learn about today with it's famous guest list including:
-Buffalo Bill Cody
-Wild Bill Hickock
and possibly even
The hotel attic was a hiding place for slaves that had been set free by the infamous abolitionist John Brown.
This building really was a centerpoint of life in Garnett Kansas in the 19th Century.
Our mission is to restore this building to it's 19th Century past and open up the doors for historic tours and various other events. As of right now we must first address any structural safety concerns/issues that the building has before we begin any cosmetic repairs. The original portion of the building was added on to multiple times during the hotels growth around the 1860's.
If viewing the building from the front, (North) you will see a very prominent tilt or lean. Many local residents have reported seeing this "lean" for well over 70+ years. After having a structural engineer examine the building, it is believed that the building may have very well started leaning within the very first years of being built. The second addition to the house/hotel seemed to have maybe locked the leaning portion of the structure into place, as the additions are not leaning at all.
In order to fix this problem, we have to temporarly detach the additions of the home from one another, remove the roof as well as all siding and then correct the angles by pushing/pulling the building back into position.
By putting the building back straight, we will most likely ruin many of the interior walls, windows, floor etc. All of which will need to be repaired. We will also need to put wood on the exterior before reapplying the original siding as well as add sheet rock on interior walls for extra support to prevent the home from falling back into it's 150+ year leaning position.
The money we're trying to raise here on gofundme is most likely just enough to cover the cost of fixing the structures lean and not much more. We will have to replace the roof as well as do several other improvements structurally on the inside before meeting city codes.
After the structure is corrected, the cosmetic improvements and restoration can begin. During this phase we hope to retain or match the original wallpaper patterns found in parts of the home, restore the original 1858 wood floors in portions of the home as well as new windows throughout the building.
We will surely find many other things that will need attention along the way, but for now we are asking for your help to bring this 1858 historical building back to standing tall and proud!
ALL funds raised will go towards this building!
Our goal is to do this work within the next year and have the building back to being the historical hotel of the 19th Century for everyone's viewing/learning pleasure.
We believe in saving history and hope that you do to. We are individuals who are doing this out of the love for the past and would hate to see this building permanently lost to future generations.
We will be eternally thankful for all donations to the 1858 Garnett House Hotel.