The Fairmont Hotel in 1925, photo courtesy
South Dakota State
The Fairmont Hotel today looks very much like it did a
century ago, July, 2006, Kathy Weiser.
Located at 928 Main Street is the historic Fairmont
Hotel, built in 1898. Originally known as the Mansion House, the
basement featured a Turkish bath and a barber shop. Almost from day one,
the upstairs rooms were utilized mostly by "painted ladies."
Illegal activities were the "norm" in the hotel, as in
1915, the police discovered illegal gambling devices in the basement,
which were then removed, piled behind the courthouse and burned as a
Continuing its wanton disregard for the law, the
Fairmont became a speakeasy during Prohibition. In later years, the hotel
became more of a flophouse.
Today, however, substantial restoration work has been
performed on the building that now serves as a casino. The lobby continues
to retain many of its original features, including the pressed-tin
ceiling, fixtures, and wainscoting.
Continued Next Page
of America, December, 2012.