Matador is not exactly a tourist destination, but it does have some curious ranching history... and it just happened to be on our road trip route.
We figured the hotel from 1915, probably had some stories to tell, so we booked a night.
Snores and TV
We arrived late afternoon and let ourselves in the front door.
We immediately noticed a man stretched out, snoring on the couch. We tiptoed past the man and the big TV, which was showing a western movie.
In Search of the Inn Keeper
We assumed the man wasn't the owner, since the hotel is owned by 3 sisters.
We wandered through the dining room and found Linda in the kitchen. She checked us in and chuckled over the sleeper. "Oh he's a frequent guest."
The Barber's Room?
Linda told us we'd find our room upstairs. We walked past this beautiful door at the base of the stairs. It had the original knob and transom. The door was actually open at the time, since it belonged to the sleeping man.
I peeked in and saw a long mirror covering the opposite wall. Later when the sleeping man woke up, he explained that his room had once been a barber shop. It also held a bathtub and cowboys from all around could come to the hotel barber and get a haircut and a bath for 25 cents. The old bathtub was long gone, but a big whirlpool tub is now in the room.
Miss Meddie's Quilt Room
Our room didn't have nearly as much fun history. It was a small room with a quilt theme and some little antique accents here and there.
Over the years the hotel has been converted to apartments, then a single home and back again to a hotel. Sadly some of the historic charm disappeared, when old doors and walls were removed and new ones were added. I'm not sure if the window was old or new, since It was completely hidden behind the drapes and window unit. I did peek through to see if there was a view, but only saw a brick wall.
The decor was a little like a vintage resale shop. There was a little lace here, a flower vase and a quilted heart there.
This is the stuff that collects dust in shops and B&Bs. But at least it was clean. The bathroom was sufficient and at least it had a table to hold stuff. We had picked one of the cheapest rooms, so our expectations weren't high. We were just there for one night, so there was no need for luxury.
Relaxing in the Evening
It was 100 degrees when we checked in, but the air was dry and a breeze was blowing.
We bought a couple beers at the grocery store next door and sat on the patio beside the building. (Luckily we didn't need the fire escape during the night.)
We didn't have a view from our room, but the view from the patio showed us the Matador water tower.
I happen to love old water towers that have "heads" like the Tin Woodsman. So that view pleased me.
There was a huge storm in the night, but we slept well with the loud hum of the window unit.
In the morning we came down and headed through the sitting room. Our sleeping friend was now at the breakfast table.
A Feast and Good Talk
Don and I joined the other two guests at the quilt covered table for breakfast.
Eric was a geological engineer, I think and Bo was a Nuclear engineer, so we had some intelligent table talk.
Too Much Food
Linda served us our feast, which Erik called, "Nap on a plate". 2 fried eggs, 3 slices of bacon, hashed browns, English muffins, broiled tomato with cheese and 10-ton apple scone.
Erik, who is a frequent guest because of oil field work, asked if we'd been to the jailhouse, down the street. He said it was a must. Later, Linda gave us a key and we had a pretty amazing visit in the creepy building that once housed prisoners above and the jailer's family, below.
Bo, who grew up in Matador but was visiting a family grave site, remembered the jail keeper who used to live there. We heard from others that the jail was haunted, but Don and I had no encounters when we explored on our own.
It was fun to hear Bo tell stories about living in town, when it was thriving during his childhood. He said he used to get his hair cut at the hotel's barber shop, that is now a guest room. He talked about the once famous, Bob's Oil Well gas station, just down the road.
He remembered eating at the petrified wood cafe, next door. What I read later, told me that the station's owner, killed himself at a Hotel, in Matador. I'm guessing it must have been our hotel, since we didn't see another hotel in town that would have been around in 1946, when Bob shot himself. Yikes! I think our hotel did have stories to tell.
It was a pretty dull town and a not so exciting hotel. But our breakfast with Bo and Erik ended up making the visit memorable. When it came time to check out, I once again couldn't find Linda and had an awkward encounter, after knocking on doors to find her. The vibe of our stay was more boarding house than bed & breakfast... but I'm kind of okay with that.
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!