The 1879 Beaumont Hotel in Beaumont, Kansas began as a stagecoach stop serving travelers between Fredonia and Wichita. Today the unique little hotel has 3 suites, 8 rooms and two dining rooms - one of which is decorated as a 50's style diner.
In the 1940s, business men wanting to check on their cattle started landing on Beaumont's Main Street and in 1953 the hotel acquired 70 acres on the east side of town for an airstrip. Pilots now taxi up Main Street to the hotel, parking at the "Bent Prop Aircraft Parking" across the street. The second Saturday of the month (April - October) is the monthly pilot breakfast fly-in where the hotel welcomes as many as 70 people who come by airplane. The first and fourth Sundays of the month, the Beaumont Hotel is a destination for motorcycle enthusiasts from across the state.
A visit to the Beaumont Hotel should begin with a walk through the nearly abandoned neighborhood (fewer than 50 people live in Beaumont today) to view the old buildings and the oldest wooden water tower in America. A series of Beaumont Historical Markers tell the story of these attractions, the 1885 Frisco ponds, and the nearby Elk River Wind Farm. While you are walking, you may see an airplane land at the the hotel's airstrip and taxi up the street to park at the hotel.
The Cafe is decorated like a 50's style diner and is open more hours than the Prairie Fire Room. At least one of these two dining rooms is open 11AM - 2PM Wednesday & Thursday, 7AM - 10PM Friday & Saturday, or 7AM - 3PM on Sunday. Overnight guests receive breakfast 7 days a week.
Both dinning rooms use the same menu and kitchen. Though the prices are quite reasonable, the dinner menu is somewhat limited.
During our overnight stay in 2012, we sampled two dishes at dinner. I had the 16 ounce ribeye with salad, green beans and fresh cut fries. The steak was the best part of the meal and came medium rare as ordered. The salad was too much carrot & radish for my taste and the potatoes were not the best type for deep frying.
We also tried the 8 ounce country fried steak with mashed potatoes & gravy The menu described it as hand breaded, but we don't think it was freshly breaded at the hotel.
The highlight of the meal was the Beaumont brownie which was served with ice cream and pecans.
The breakfast menu at the Beaumont Hotel is proportionately larger and more interesting then the dinner menu. An overnight stay includes breakfast in the diner. A western omelet was a well cooked three egg omelet with diced ham, peppers, onions and cheese, served with salsa and Galapagos.
The French toast was described in the menu as being made from "thick sliced infused cinnamon rolls," but turned out to be made from ordinary bread. It was OK, but not what was advertised.
My most recent meal at the Beaumont Hotel was for Sunday lunch in 2017. There was a buffet or a short list of sandwiches. The dessert was the highlight again, a house made salted caramel apple pie. The caramel was a layer on the bottom with another layer of crust above it. Very good!
The clock in our room was flashing "12:00" when we checked in so I set the clock and alarm for the next morning. But it never went off.
At breakfast the next morning, we asked our server about the ghost story associated with the Beaumont Hotel. She said that for part of its existence, the Beaumont Hotel was a sporting house. One of the women who worked at the hotel was married, but fell for one of her customers. Her jealous husband murdered the cowboy named Zeke.
The staff some times see a figure of a cowboy at the top of the stairs when the hotel is empty. But the most common manifestation of the ghost is its messing with the hotel's clock radios. Sometimes several of them go off at the same time or the clock in one of the room go off more than once in the same night. Room 201 is the one most associated with the ghost.
copyright 2006-201 by Keith Stokes