Blackwater was founded in 1887, after the Missouri Pacific Railroad decided their new River Route would pass through the area. In 1889, the Frady Hotel was built to house workers and travelers on the railroad. The wood structure burned soon after, but was quickly replaced with the two story brick building we see today.
The property changed hands many times over the years. It was known as the City Hotel for a while, and this name can still be seen painted on the bricks by the front door. It was later used as a doctor's home and office, with patients' rooms upstairs and a pharmacy on the main floor. Many Blackwater residents were born in the building during that time.
Eventually, the trains quit carrying passengers and no longer stopped in Blackwater. A new interstate highway was put in bypassing the town. Many businesses were forced to close. The building fell into disrepair along with the rest of the downtown.
In 1993, the property was purchased by Blackwater's mayor at the time, Bobby Danner. Unfortunately, much of the building was destroyed in a fire soon after. A massive restoration project began on the property. At the same time, the whole downtown underwent a revitalization period during which new brick sidewalks were put in, old fashioned street lights were added, and many of the older buildings were repaired.
The Iron Horse Hotel opened its doors to guests in 2002 and has been serving visitors to Blackwater ever since. It is now operated by Bobby Danner's niece, Nichole Cornine. She is dedicated to helping the hotel and town thrive by offering exceptional, small town hospitality. Whether you have a whole weekend to relax or just a few minutes to explore, we hope to see you soon!