The Industrial Hotel History
Very little information is available on the history of this area of town, as many of the Florence city maps do not cover the area south of the tracks. A notable exception being that they usually did include the lot just past the tracks, a well-known brothel owned and operated by Lillian Powers from about 1911 until almost 1960!
A lot first appears in the correct area on plat maps in 1903, however the address is given as 365 S. Union. In 1905/1906, a structure is first noted at the address. It is identified as a boarding house, run by a Mrs. Alice Hyland. The house itself was one floor but had multiple bedrooms. It was simply made, with none of the typical Victorian decorative elements, but did boast a facade of beautifully hand cut (and probably Canon City prison hand quarried) sandstone blocks on the exterior. In 1906-1907, tenants of the boarding house included a stonemason, a city engineer, two Dorcas Mill employees, a carpenter, a miner, a bricklayer, a National Mill employee, and a car repair engineer for the D & RG railroad. During these early years the building housed between 5-12 people normally, according to the city directories. In 1909, the property is owned by the Gill family, possibly as a single-family house at this time. By 1926, the address has begun to change and the lot is listed as 365/453 S. Union. In the 1940's we see the current address appear under the ownership of Gibson Lumber Company. It is unknown whether it was used as an office, housing, or something else.
In 1955, another large change takes place at the address, this time with the introduction of a church. The Spanish Pentecostal Church of God operated at the location under the pastorship of Reverand Feliciano Gonzolas from 1955 until 1983. The reverend passed away in 1986 and the house on the site seems to have reverted back to a house after that until it was abandoned some time probably in the 1990s. By the time we purchased the property, the house was too far gone to save and the church was long gone, but we salvaged everything we could.
Today The Industrial Hotel sits on the site of the former boarding house, honoring its history while looking to the future of housing.