Originally built in 1899 by Philadelphia transplant Wilke Power as the Power Hotel, the Midland Railroad Hotel was once considered among the premier hotels in the Midwest. A magnificent, limestone building rising three stories high and comprising 28 elegant rooms—and lit by the day’s latest method, acetylene gas—it was popular stop along the Union Pacific Railroad between Kansas City and Denver. Businessmen stopped there so often to show their wares, in fact, that the hotel’s basement became known as the Sample Room (and still is today.
After a November 1902 fire gutted the hotel, it was restored and reopened as the Midland Railroad Hotel. Rebuilt with modern heating, it maintained its status through the roaring 1920s as one of the finest, modern-day hotels in the region.
Once the Great Depression hit, the hotel suffered with the rest of America, making ends meet by raising chickens on the third floor to serve to dinner guests. Over the next several decades, the Midland continued to operate, even serving as a backdrop for many scenes in the 1973 film “Paper Moon,” starring Ryan O’Neal and daughter Tatum.
The Midland’s previous owners, John and Agnes Hill, closed the hotel in 1978 after 18 years in business. Then in 1997, the Wilson Foundation purchased the historic building for $35,000, launching six-year, $3.2 million renovation, earning the organization a Kansas Preservation Award for its painstaking restoration.
The Midland Railroad reopened in 2003 to its 1920s glory and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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“The Midland Railroad Hotel is a beautifully renovated hotel. The staff is really helpful and they take great care of you. Whether you’re passing through, visiting in the area or ghost hunting it’s a great place to stay. Keep in mind that it’s an old hotel with “Railroad” in the title. The train passes in front of the hotel. We only experienced it during the day. It may bother some people but we enjoyed watching it from our window. Also, the rooms aren’t huge – the hotel was built and rebuilt around the turn of the 20th century – but they’re comfortable and nicely appointed. There’s an early continental breakfast in the lobby and a restaurant below that. We’ll definitely be back.”
“The Historic Midland Railroad Hotel is an absolute must stop for all travelers looking for a period-like experience with modern amenities and really good food. Wilson is a charmingly sleepy town and the hotel at its center. This was my second stay at this hotel and it was as wonderful as I remembered. They even upgraded us when there was an issue with our original room.”
“Top notch service, great food. Always a good time.”
“We loved how comfortable the bed was. Best sleep the whole trip!”
“This is a great place to get off the highway when you need a break. The hotel is full of history and had really clean rooms – it was perfect for our tired bodies after hours on the road. We were unlucky enough to be caught in a freak blizzard overnight and the service of the hotel staff was without question, the most comforting thing we experienced. Free food was offered when we were snowed in, and everyone was so helpful. It was truly the best place to be in the storm!”
“This is not the usual AirBnB experience. A beautifully restored railroad hotel, lovely appointments, comfortable accommodation, friendly staff. This is the perfect place to stay if you’re driving Dallas to Denver.”
“Great & unique accommodations that make you feel right at home!”
“Out stay here was a highlight of our drive through the Midwest. The food was fine and the atmosphere was warm and visually pleasing. We walked around at dusk and it took us back to an earlier time in America. Our room was fine and a welcome change from boring motel rooms. The furniture is beautiful and the sitting room is filled with good books and photographs. I very much recommend this place.”
“Great stay! Easy stopping point, good communication, if we’re diving through again we’ll stay here.”
“This is a beautiful hotel. I love the fact that the hotel owners made the hotel feel like you where still in the 1889 when the hotel was built. This hotel is very unique and won’t find this style anywhere else.”
“The nostalgia and absolute beauty of the Midland was a real treat and every bit as beautiful as depicted. The staff was warm and friendly…the breakfast was great. Loved it….we definitely recommend.”
“We loved the historic Midland Railroad Hotel! I highly recommend taking a short detour off of I-70 to stay at this delightful hotel. The Midland has been authentically restored to the grandeur of the 1900s. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. The Sample Room Tavern and restaurant served a yummy chicken fried chicken special the night we were there. Although I am very nostalgic about train whistles, church bells, and old-fashioned meal sirens, I would recommend ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. Don’t miss this precious gem in the middle of Kansas!”
“This is such a historic treasure, super clean, authentic arts and crafts style, very inviting ambiance, great staff, and the onsite bar and restaurant really delivered an enjoyable experience. We will look for reasons to return! Also, some fun shopping in the neighborhood boutiques.”
“Really wonderful and charming place to stay! The building is beautiful and the restaurant is great. Only thing to note is that it is right by the train tracks so there was some train noise in the morning, but that’s in the name! Would definitely recommend!”
“The Midland Railroad Hotel is a true old West hotel we enjoyed our stay the restaurant was authentic Western affair we enjoyed a walk around the town after dinner and a nice Continental breakfast a good value on the high plains and I-70 corridor”
“What a cool spot! The front desk checked us in seamlessly and although we didn’t arrive until about 8:45 we still had time to order a quick bite from the downstairs bar/restaurant and the two guys running it were really friendly about it. We were traveling/moving across the country and had our cat with us which is already stressful – so I was relieved to find this place which made it nice and easy!”
“Great little apartment. Very clean and everything was like new. ”