The old lady sits with her back leaning against the hill behind her. She has seen life at it's best and at it's worst. She has been sitting like this since the town was a bustling center of activity with a population of 3,000 souls. She has seen the rich and famous and has known the poor and down trodden.
She still manifests the same character and sense of history but there is something different about her. She has had a perfect face-lift. One that has rejuvenated her but has retained all her old beauty and charm. One of her old friends, Teddy Roosevelt, would tell you that she hasn't changed a bit - just spruced herself up.
The old lady, Hotel Hope, was built by Joseph M. Jeannot in 1897 and overlooks Lake Pend Oreille in Hope, Idaho. The present building was a replacement for the wooden hotel built by Louis Jeannot, brother to Joseph. The frame building burned to the ground in 1886.
Hotel Hope was in its prime when Hope grew into prominence after becoming a center of commerce and a division point on the Northern Pacific Railroad. Several trains a day stopped at Hope on the way from Minnesota to Portland, Oregon.
There have been four owners over the years. Joseph Jeannot defaulted on the mortgage in 1920 and Marie Root paid off the loan and purchased the hotel. A couple from California were driving through Hope in 1971 and saw a "For Sale" sign in the old building's window. Guy Neyman purchased
it and started some reconstruction. Wendel and Beverly Bergman then purchased the hotel and, with the help of Bob LaFore, brought it to what you see today. In fact, it took the old lady 100 years to complete
her face lift.
The beautiful setting of Hotel Hope has drawn many tourists over the years. The most prominent were J. P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, Bing Crosby and Gary Cooper.
You have only to walk through Hotel Hope to see how painstaking the people responsible for the reconstruction have been in seeing that none of the artifacts have been damaged. The walls are 15 inches thick and the same doorknobs are used today. In the basement one finds the site of the old tunnels that were used by guests to go down to the railway station. On the first level the saloon looks much as it did in the early 1900s. On the second floor is room number ten. This and two connecting rooms were the suite of rooms used by Teddy Roosevelt when he visited the area.
The hotel was opened in 1998 but was again closed after a few months of operation.