Since 1927 generations of guests have filled these rooms. Independence was named the county seat of Inyo County in 1868. Back then travelers were few and far between, and those who did come this way managed it on dusty roads by horse and wagon. After World War I, the ever-increasing popularity of the automobile and construction of the first paved road through the Owens Valley brought a growing number of visitors to the Eastern Sierras.
Walter Dow, a Southern California businessman had just completed the Dow Hotel in Lone Pine in 1923.
It’s said that the folks of Independence asked him to build a modern new hotel for the county seat. Mr. Dow proposed that if the people of Independence would purchase the land, he would build the hotel. The citizens came together with personal contributions to purchase the land, and Walter Dow stuck to his word. The result was the opening of the Winnedumah Hotel in 1927.
Many of the furnishings are from the 1920’s and original to the hotel. In the lobby, the overstuffed chairs are originals and the piano was built in 1892. The steel mesh chairs on the front porch can be seen in Roy Roger’s first movie “under Western Stars” as he rides up to the hotel.
In June of 2019, the Winnedumah Hotel came under new ownership and the stewards of this historic and iconic hotel are committed to polishing this star in her own right. We hope that you will enjoy the rich history that our hotel has to offer and treasure the memories here as much as we do.