Threshold to History: Hotel Melrose

By: Lisa McDivitt Email
By: Lisa McDivitt Email

Another installment of our threshold to history series.

Take a peek into the historic Melrose Hotel, now known as the Melrose
House.

It just celebrated its 100th birthday and is the last remaining hotel from historic downtown Grand Junction.

Today it's part bed & breakfast, and part hostel, but its history, still haunts it.

11 News reporter Lisa McDivitt explains.

"All the rooms have their own antiques, dressers or furniture of some kind in it. We are going to do a remodeling, and when we do, we'll get it back to how it first was."

For the past two and a half years, Michelle Awbrey and her husband, Jeremy, have managed the Melrose House on Colorado Ave.

"It was constructed in 1908 by James William Ponsford and his two sons. In 1911, the property next to the building was purchased and the hotel was doubled in size after that."

Throughout the years, the hotel has been constantly updated.

"By the late 1920's, every room had running water, which was a very rare commodity in a town of Grand Junction's size."

But despite upgrades to keep up with the times, the hotel still holds on to much of its past.

It remained in the hands of the Ponsford family until 1993, when it was purchased by a married couple – the Bebb–Joneses.

And after the mysterious death of Sabrina Bebb–Jones... the hotel was sold again in 1998 to its current owner, Joya De Pasquale.

Now the hotel has new managers... who, along with the current owner are working to restore the place to its original charm.

"We will be redoing the whole exterior of the hotel. It will still have the same look, but it will be improved to give it its face lift the facelift it really needs and deserves."

Other restorations that have already been done include this candy machine that they brought back to life.

And two old fashioned telephone booths – one on each floor.

The 28 antique–filled rooms, include nightly suits, extended stay rooms and a hostel that's been occupied by visitors from all over the world.

The guests say they appreciate the homey and historic feeling

"It's really cool, actually. Cause you kind of look back in time and kind of think about how it was back then."

But there is one guest who some say has never checked out.

Former hotel owner Sabrina Bebb–Jones, who was murdered in the late 1990's, and whose case is still unsolved... is said to haunt the hotel halls.

"People say that she's still in here, watching over the place, and that's the shadows they see or that's what they hear. And that's our little ghost story."

And while some claim they've heard her and seen her shadow.
Others are more skeptical of spirits, but still willing to believe.

"There might be one or two upstairs, lurking around, so you gotta kind of watch for them. They might pop up every once in a while."

The hotel managers say all the ghosts are friendly...and the stories add to the mystique of the place.

And with the help of a grant from downtown Grand Junction, they plan to restore the building's façade in the next year.


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