Within a few years, one generation passes and another comes on the scene. If those who follow are to have any notion of what it was that went before, it must fall to those who possess a tie to the past to preserve what may be known. In that spirit, the people of Montrose, Colorado, endeavored in 1997 to document and record the history of the region and town.
First Belvedere Hotel, (1889) E. Main and Selig
Constructed in 1889 at a cost of $75,000, the Belvedere Hotel on Main and Selig was a three-story structure that boasted 100 rooms, a bar, and a double lobby. Even though the hotel and its restaurant serviced two Denver and Rio Grande trains daily, the hotel experienced financial difficulties. In 1894, a fire of mysterious origin broke out on the hotel roof, ironically, as the local Fireman's Ball was in full swing in the spacious dining room. The building and all its contents burned to the ground. A second Belvedere Hotel connected to a public bath house was built in Montrose on South First and Uncompahgre streets in 1896.
Sherman/Ross Building (1910)
232-238 E. Main
Sterlin Samuel Sherman came to western Colorado in 1879, riding astride a pile of mail on a sleigh and arriving in Lake City with the tempurature 40 degrees below zero. he came to Montrose in 1888 where he was associated with a number of law firms. He had a small frame building at this location prior to the construction of this brick building in 1910. He served as county judge, president of the Montrose County Bar Association, and an attorney for the Delta/Montrose Canal Company and the First National Bank of Montrose. Frank Ross was Sherman's partner for a short while and shares the name of the building, which served at various times as a billiard hall, a theatre, and the Addington Mortuary. when Sherman died at the age of 84, his funeral rites were held in the very building in which he had spent most of his life.
Original Courthouse/Jail (circa 1884)
210 E. Main
Across Main Street, on the corner, sat a white-frame building with a hitching post in front that served as the Montrose County Courthouse from 1884 until 1922. Behind it, across the alley, was the county jail, which still holds tales of various desperadoes and attempted jail escapes. Many a horse thief and cattle rustler, as well as murderers, were tried in the little courthouse. The $100-a-year license fees from each of the town's fourteen saloons were collected here. During the days of prohibition, liquor was dispensed from the courthouse strictly "for medicinal purposed".