Sheldon Street Lodge

Central
 Sheldon Street Lodge is located at 115 E. Sheldon Street in Prescott. For more information, call 928-445-5554 or visit www.sheldonstreetlodge.vpweb.com.

By Kathy Montgomery | Photograph by Paul Markow

Trains, buses and automobiles. That might not sound as catchy as the title of a certain movie starring Steve Martin and John Candy, but it does sum up the long history of Sheldon Street Lodge, which is located across from Prescott’s historic train station.

The lodge’s foundation dates to the turn of the 20th century, when it supported housing for immigrant railroad laborers. The current structure dates to the 1940s, when it opened as Navajo Lodge, one of the motor lodges built along U.S. Route 89 (now State Route 89), which defined the northern edge of town for decades. In later years, the building served as Prescott’s Greyhound station before becoming an extended-stay facility.

Colleen Milam and her husband, Shane, bought the property in 2003. A Prescott native, Colleen remembers when there was nothing between the lodge and Granite Creek but train tracks. Depot Marketplace has since replaced the tracks, but the depot remains, and the towering cottonwoods of Granite Creek Park still form an impressive, sometimes colorful backdrop.

The Milams upgraded the rooms for use as nightly vacation rentals. Along with amenities, they added a sense of humor: A porch sign declares that the fire pit is where people and marshmallows get toasted, and the license plate of an old truck out front reads, “IM DONE.”

As with most historic lodgings, the rooms are small. But they’re efficient and well equipped, with microwaves, refrigerators and flat-screen TVs. Complimentary tea, water and snacks are available in the lobby, which is decorated with historical photos and Prescott memorabilia. 

The collection includes a picture of Gail Gardner. The late rancher, postmaster and cowboy poet employed Colleen’s mother as a nurse and personal assistant, treating her family as his own. Gardner announced the World’s Oldest Rodeo for years and frequently served as grand marshal of Prescott’s annual Frontier Days Parade. 

While the inn is not on the official parade route, entries pass it before disbanding, so those who are fortunate enough to book a room over Fourth of July weekend watch from comfortable chairs on the front porch — and often make reservations a year in advance for the privilege. 

The parade and the train depot were immortalized in the 1972 movie Junior Bonner. Sheldon Street Lodge didn’t make the cut, but, as with so much of Prescott’s history, it had a front-row seat.

Sheldon Street Lodge is located at 115 E. Sheldon Street in Prescott. For more information, call 928-445-5554 or visit www.sheldonstreetlodge.vpweb.com.