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Historic Hotel: Newcastle’s first permanent building continues to serve the local community

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

In the heart of Newcastle, stands an iconic, old building made from the earth it sits on and as old as the town it calls home. 

Completed in May of 1890 – only two months after Weston County was officially established – the Antlers Hotel was the first permanent building in the town of Newcastle, and like most of Newcastle’s existence, can be traced back to the Kilpatrick Brothers and Collins Construction Company. 

Not only did the building serve as a hotel, it also housed a commissary, the city’s courthouse, a saloon, a bank, a hospital and a bus stop over the years. 

Hotel history 

Following its construction, the basement of the two-story Antlers Hotel was used as the city’s courthouse, while the second story was used as a commissary for the Wyoming National Guard Armory. 

Those living in the commissary included Frank Mondell, manager the Cambria Coal Mine and Newcastle’s first mayor. 

Between 1892-95, the building was remodeled into a hotel and originally named Hotel Showers after the couple who leased and managed the establishment. Later, Mrs. Showers changed the name to Antlers Hotel, and after her and her husband’s passing, the building was leased to Carl Blank in 1899. 

For a short few months during the year of 1901, F.B. Brooks held the hotel’s lease, then it was turned over to J.W. Donahue. 

In 1902, a stock company purchased the building and renamed the establishment the Antlers Hotel Company; in 1903, Mayor Pete Kinney took charge, and in 1904, Kilpatrick and Collins regained ownership. 

In 1905, construction on a two-story addition began, adding more rooms to the upper part of the hotel and turning the lower section into the Antlers Saloon.

A telephone and electric power line were also ran to the building, and several other improvements were made throughout the years, including a 12-room extension to the back of the hotel in 1912. 

In 1918, while Newcastle National Bank was undergoing construction, bankers rented out part of the hotel to operate in. Then in 1921, the Weston County Health Center rented eight rooms, which served as the local hospital for a time. 

Six years later, Kinney’s wife and daughter took over the business, making their own renovations along the way. 

In 1928, the two remodeled the dining room and added bathtubs in some of the guest rooms. 

After a decade, the lease was turned over again, and under Frank Williams’ management, stucco and glass bricks were added to the outside of the hotel and four rooms and four apartments were added to the inside, making the Antlers Hotel a 50-room establishment. 

After the building changed hands again, the Kinneys regained ownership in 1946 and hired Fred Runger as manager. 

In 1953, Faye Bessey and her brother took charge of the Antlers Hotel, and during the 1960s, while working as the Continental Trailway bus agent, Bessey used the hotel as a bus stop. 

Current establishment

The Antlers Hotel was in operation until the early 1980s and then sat empty for a time, before Jack and Rhoda Highfill and Dave and Sandy Fisher purchased the building in 1988.

The two couples were approached with a business deal to turn the building into an exercise and dance buisness by the name of Purrfect Steps, but renovations became too overwhelming and the deal fell through.  

The building sat empty again until 2007, when Heidi and Bill Cleveland bought the hotel and made a few renovations, adding four apartments and six rooms, which could be rented out on a long-term basis.

Today, the Antlers Hotel is owned and operated by Pam and Chris Gualtieri, who bought the building in 2019 and have made it a thriving business with several different venues. 

These include a New York-style Italian deli called Uncle Vitos, a bakery called Hannah’s Heavenly Treats, a soda shop called Boopa’s, a bed and breakfast called Arianna’s and a coffee shop called Beanit. 

For more information on the Antlers Hotel, visit

Information in this article was compiled from the Alliance for Historic Wyoming, the Wyoming Historical Society and Weston County’s official website.

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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