During the early 1800s, Dr. John H. Purefoy was adding a new well in the backyard of his property. While working on it, the wooden rigging collapsed, burying a worker under tons of sandy soil. Rescuers could hear the man screaming out for help, but unfortunately, they were unable to save him. The body was never recovered from the accident.
Constructed in 1903, the historic Royal Hotel served miners, railroad and timber crews, travelers, and ranchers on the Wolcott Stage line. It served a number of other purposes while in operation, including the Yampa Leader newspaper’s headquarters, a hospital during 1919’s flu epidemic when the local hospital could not accommodate the number of patients afflicted, a boarding house for school children during the winter months, a school gymnasium, a drug store, a post office, a family dining room, a general store, an upholstery store, and apartments.