The Historic Hassayampa Inn

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(Source: HassayampaInn.com) (Source: HassayampaInn.com)
PRESCOTT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

This beautifully restored 1927 hotel sits in the heart of historic downtown Prescott, just a short jaunt from shopping and restaurants, as well as Courthouse Square and Whiskey Row.

Known as "one of Arizona's most fascinating historic hotels," the Hassayampa Inn has a rich history.

Meant to be a grand hotel where "people could relax, chat and escape the grind of their hectic lives," the inn was designed by El Paso architect Henry Trost and funded by the people of Prescott. Hundreds of residents bought shares in the project -- $1 each.

Construction of the gorgeous red-brick Hassayampa Hotel, as it was first known, was completed in 1927 and quickly became a cornerstone of downtown Prescott. It would eventually be included in the National Register of Historic Places and a member of the Historic Hotels of America.

"From the hand-painted lobby ceiling and dramatic wall murals to the quirky vintage elevator, the Hassayampa Inn transports you back to the Roaring Twenties," according to the hotel's website. "This is where some of history’s most noteworthy celebrities used to come to unwind, including Will Rogers, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable and Steve McQueen."

While the décor oozes Old World charm, all of the amenities are modern and stylish. That includes the Peacock Room, which specializes in decadent cuisine.

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The hotel is named for the Hassayampa River, which originates just north of Prescott. The upper portion of the 113-mile river was one of several areas in the North Bradshaw Mountains to produce gold. Those who went there to search for gold in the 1800s became known as Hassayampers. Even today panning for gold along the Hassayampa is a popular activity.

There also is folklore that says anyone who drinks from the river cannot help but lie forevermore. George Wharton James (1858-1923), an expert on the American Southwest, quoted an anonymous poet in his book "Arizona the Wonderland."

Those who drink its waters bright-

Red man, white man, boor or knight,

Girls or women, boys or men-

Never tell the truth again

Hassayampa is an Apache word that loosely translates to "the river that loses itself," apropos considering much of the river's flow is subsurface most of the year.

As it was when it was first built, the Hassayampa Inn continues to be a major part of the community.

Hassayampa Inn is located at 122 E. Gurley St. For more information, call 928-778-9434 or 1-800-322-1927 or check out HassayampaInn.com.

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