Our Stories Resort Blog

Dig a little deeper into stories about our history, unique guest features, and what’s happening around the resort.


Take a Look at the New West Baden Springs Hotel Museum

West Baden Spring Hotel Museum

To think how much history is contained here at West Baden Springs Hotel, it’s tough to wrap your arms around it.

But we’re giving it a shot, in the form of a brand-new space dedicated to sharing the history of the hotel and relics from its past.

Next time you’re visiting or staying, be sure to pop into to the new West Baden Springs Hotel Museum, near the hotel’s garden entrance on the “inner ring” of the main level. We wanted to be sure and open the doors in time for Preservation Month here in May — so this is just a start. More items will be added and displayed over time, and there’s more history to be told in this evolving exhibit.

We won’t spoil everything for you here. It’s best you see for yourself. But here’s a little sampling of what awaits you:

20th century music wonder • The wall space of the museum tells the story of West Baden’s history through the eras. Which makes sense, because this building has had so many lives. You can trace the hotel’s history through its first days as the Mile Lick Inn; through the early 1900s when it ascended to one of the premier hotels in the country under the ownership of Lee Sinclair and his daughter Lillian, and later under Ed Ballard; all the way through the recent restoration that rescued it from near disrepair. You’ll even find some of the clothes worn by the actors from the movie So Cold the River, filmed at the hotel and released earlier in 2022.







Old Spring Water Dippers

• The oldest item in here? That’d be a spring water dipper with “West Baden Springs” engraved on it, which dates back to 1896. The dipper with the broken glass goblet was found at the Hygeia spring house during Phase 1 of the hotel’s renovation from 1996-98. Both dippers would have been what guests used to “take the waters.”










hickory atrium chairs

• You can get a glimpse of hickory chairs (circa 1905) that were once in the atrium for guests to sit and relax in. As our resort historian says: “How those survived, I’ll never know.” (Afterward, go sink into the plush chairs that are now in the atrium, and appreciate how our standards of comfort have thankfully evolved.)


Glass case of old artifacts

• Speaking our historian, one of his favorite relics in the museum is an old leather savings account book contained in one of the glass cases. This account book from the West Baden National Bank is dated 1929-31 — likely containing some bad news inside amid the first years of the Great Depression. The West Baden National Bank was originally located in the hotel before a new bank building (which still stands near the archway entrance) was built in 1917.


The former Logan & Bryan Stock Exchange office

The former Logan & Bryan Stock Exchange office

• Since we’re talking history, here’s a fun side note: This new museum occupies the space where the Logan & Bryan Stock Exchange once was. A prominent national investment house of the era, Logan & Bryan was a prominent national investment company of the era, and they opened an office in the original West Baden Springs Hotel to track their investments while they relaxed at the resort.

Want to take a closer look? The new West Baden Springs Hotel Museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., free of charge, whenever you’re ready for a blast from the hotel’s past.

Tagged In:

Related Posts