Eklund Hotel (Hotel Eklund)
Backstory and Context
In 1892, before the Eklund Hotel was established, the building was originally built and used as a hostel with a saloon and a gambling hall. The hostel had a front and back bar and related barroom equipment and supplies, pool and carom tables, Monte and game tables, a crap table, and a poker table. There is evidence of the second-floor being used as a dry-goods store. The hostel was an essential business for several railroad depots and companies since it housed railroad travelers coming through Clayton.
In 1984, Johannes Eklund and Greta H. Chadbourne transferred their interest in the hotel to Johaness's son, Carl Eklund. Carl Eklund was a Swedish cattle rancher who created a large ranch and cattle raising operation in Clayton, New Mexico. Eklund began developing the hotel, and eventually, he leased the building to Thomas S. Rose, and the Eklund Hotel opened in 1898.
The hotel as constructed from rough-cut sandstone with a metal cornice and pediment crowning its facade. Throughout the years, the hotel went through several renovations, which are marked by the different years are seen throughout the hotel. The years "1892" and "1898" are engraved in the walls and a metal "1905" above the lettering, "Eklund Hotel" are posted on the roof's centered pediment. The 1892 represents the original structure of the hostel, the 1898 represents the opening of the Eklund Hotel, and the 1905 represents the extension of the building's height from two stories to three stories, which is apparent today in its physical appearance. The hotel is designed in an Early Commercial architectural style with a second floor balcony, large rectangular windows, and two large billboard signs arranged at skew displaying in large letters the name, "Eklund."
During the 1920s, the Eklund Hotel dominated the hotel market in Clayton, New Mexico and would house railroad travelers and automobile tourists. Yet, in 1923, the hotel suffered from mortgage foreclosure and bankruptcy, and the property was transferred to R.K. Wootten. Wooten installed hot and cold water and made general renovations and repairs throughout the hotel. At one time in the 1920s. the ground floor of the building was used as a clothing mercantile store. Eventually, Clark Eklund bought back the hotel in 1938 from Wooten. Eklund operated the hotel until 1944, when he transferred a one-half interest in the hotel land and building to his son-in- law, John D. Alford, Jr., and in 1952 he transferred his interest to Alford. Afterwards, the upper level rooms were restored for guests.
In 2002, the Eklund Hotel was listed in the National Register for Historic Places for it being a well-preserved example of the Early Commercial architectural and its role as a social and business interaction for Clayton and a large region of northeastern New Mexico. Today, the hotel is currently owned by professional architects, Keith and Jeannette Barras and is still open for guests to relax, dine, and enjoy live entertainment. In 2004, the 24 guest rooms were extensively remolded and renovated. The hotel has a saloon where guests can enjoy occasion live entrainment from local bands. There are two dining rooms where guests can wine and dine and catering can be hosted to help with events in the hotel. Additionally, the hotel has a pet-friendly attitude, Wi-fi access, and handicap accessibility.
"About Us," The Eklund: Historic Hotel and Restaurant. n.d. Accessed June 2nd 2020. http://hoteleklund.com/about-us/.
Monroe, Kendyl K.. "Eklund Hotel," National Register for Historic Places . January 17th 2002. Accessed June 2nd 2020. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/ce49fe4e-d3d6-4a68-b76f-e632d14ea5ea/.
Sellers, John. "Tales of the Eklund." High Country. 2000, Accessed June 2nd 2020, page 44.