The Area's Oldest Historic Hotel
Share:   

Call Us at (541) 493-1898
49130 Happy  Valley Rd
Diamond, OR 97722-9319

Eastern Oregon's Oldest Hotel; Established 1898


The Hotel


Marion Horton constructed Hotel Diamond just before the end of the century to serve the traveling public, and at the same time erected his own home adjacent to the inn.  Mr. and Mrs. Horton and their two children operated the hotel for a time, then sold the property to Sid Comegys.  Mr. Comegys, being an enterprising man who recognized a business opportunity, decided to add a saloon to the hotel in 1913.  This addition provided additional interest in the hotel for men, and business was good as the clientele enjoyed the general saloon ambiance and the opportunity to drink and gamble. 

The hotel was transferred to another owner when Anne Haines, whose husband had a store in the town of Narrows, traded land in that area for the property; she and her family moved to the Hotel Diamond in about 1916 and Sid Comegys relocated.  To the consternation of some local patrons, Mrs. Haines tore down the saloon, thus discontinuing its operation.

In 1919 the property changed hands when Mrs. Haines sold out to Steve Seward. Seward, his wife Grace, and his two sons, managed the establishment profitably and the inn became widely known for its good services and accommodations.  Meals were prepared and served family style.  One teacher is known to have lived at the hotel for the winter, but the usual customer was the sheepherder, camptender, bachelor, cowhand, occasional traveler, or similar people.

As time went by, the Sewards decided to end their marriage, and Grace subsequently married Clyde Smyth.  Grace and Clyde Smyth leased the hotel to Rye and Nora Smyth in 1935, who continued its operation for five more years.  For unknown reasons the hotel was closed  at about 1940 and remained empty until 1947, when Nora Smyth's mother, Ella Smith, bought the property.  Mrs. Smith occupied the old hotel, using it as her residence until she sold it to Russell Arnold and his wife.  Russell and Leona Arnold moved into the Hotel Diamond building in the early 1950's.  They constructed another structure where the saloon stood.

Don and Dorothy Brookshire purchased the building in 1973.  They ran the store and post office.  Dorothy Brookshire also did upholstery work.  Dorothy sold the hotel in 1986 to Jerry and Judy Santille. The Santilles restored the Hotel Diamond and reopened in the spring of 1990.  In 2000, the descendents of one of the first families in the Diamond valley purchased the hotel and still operate it today.  The Thompson family's Great grandfather, Charlie Frazier, managed the hotel for Marion Horton over 100 years ago. The small pub added to the ice house at the back of the hotel is called Frazier's.