Antler Hotel History

History of Antlers Hotel

Research from Leonard Cash

The Antlers Hotel was Newcastle’s first permanent building made of brick and native stone. In May of 1890 the building was completed for the owners, Kilpatrick Bros and Collins, of Cambria Mines. The basement of the building was 50 x 100 feet and the home of the city’s courthouse. The building had two stories. The second story was a commissary.

Between January 1892-1895, the building was remodeled to make it a hotel. Mr. and Mrs. O.J. Showers leased the building and managed the hotel, that they called “Hotel Showers”. Mrs. Showers soon renamed it the Antlers Hotel.  In 1897 both Mr. and Mrs. Showers passed away. It was then leased to Mr. Carl Blank in 1899.

In 1901, Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Brooks leased it, but he left in just a few months and the J.W. Donahue Family came to run the Antlers. Donahue enlarge the office of the hotel. In 1902 W.H. Dodd moved to take care of the Antlers for the stock company that bought the building, known as the Antlers Hotel Company.  In 1903. Mayor Pete Kinney took charge of the business and in 1904 the Kilpatrick Bros and Collins regained ownership. In 1905. Kinney began work on a two story addition which added needed rooms. The lower part of the building was the Antler’s Saloon, and the upper part was made into rooms for the hotel.  Kinney ran a telephone and an electric power company from the building. Many improvements were made over the years.

In 1912, Matt Hill leased the property. In 1916, Kinney added a twelve room extension to the back.  In 1918, Newcastle National Bank used part of the building while their building was being remodeled. In 1921, the Weston County Health Center rented eight rooms in the rear. This area became the hospital.  In 1927, Pete Kinney died and his wife Ethel and Daughter took over running the business.  In 1928, they remodeled the dining room and added bathtubs in some guest rooms. She continued with adding plumbing and other upgrades through the years.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank William leased the building in 1938.  In 1939, a major renovation occurred which included applying stucco to the façade and glass bricks were added, also adding four new rooms and four apartments, making the building a 50 room hotel. Somewhere along the time-line Esther Cleveland bought the building, but in 1946, the Kinney’s bought the building back and placed Mr. and Mrs. Fred Runger as manager.

Miss Faye Bessey and her brother took charge of the Antlers Hotel in 1953, and ran the hotel into the 70s. In the 1960s Miss Bessey became the Continental Trailway Bus Agent and used the Antlers Hotel as a bus stop. The Antler was in operation until the early 1980s, and then sat empty.

 Jack and Rhoda Highfill and Dave and Sandy Fisher purchased the building in 1988.  Jackie Woltemath approached them and wanted to transform the building into a business, with exercise and dance, called “Purrfect Steps.” This only lasted a few years as the renovations were too overwhelming.  It sat empty until Heidi Cleveland and husband Bill bought the Antlers in 2007. They renovated the building, made four apartments and six rooms, which could be rented on a long-term basis. They had a restaurant and bar they ran.  

To date, there have been several people managing a business there.  In March of 2019, Chris and Pam Gualtieri bought the building and have made it a thriving business with several venues. These include; Uncle Vito’s– a New York style Italian Deli, Hannah’s Heavenly Treats – a bakery, Boopa’s– a soda shop, Arianna’s – a Bed and Breakfast, and Beanit – a coffee shop.