ASHLAND – Ashland will be one of 151 communities featured at The Scarlet Hotel on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Innovation Campus.
“The Ashland, Nebraska Room” will include a brief write up explaining the history of the town as well as images of the old government trail marker, the Oxbow Trail historical marker and a marker honoring John McBride Belnap, an infant who died of cholera while traveling near Ashland in 1850. All images and history were provided by Ashland Historical Society Board Member Marilyn Wright.
The hotel will open in August 2021 and will have 154 rooms and 151 will be dedicated to different communities like Ashland, Goldenrod Companies Senior Financial Analyst Will Suter said. The remaining three rooms will be dedicated to notable Nebraskans.
Suter said originally the idea was to feature notable Nebraskans in all of the rooms, but when the hotel began receiving so many remarkable nominations they opted to mostly feature small towns with a few notable Nebraskans.
According to Wright’s history, Ashland was established in 1857 and was the first Saunders County seat, or capital town. The seat is currently held by Wahoo, which is also being featured at The Scarlet Hotel.
Wright also included the history of Bion Arnold who she feels is perhaps the most famous person to graduate from Ashland High School and the University of Nebraska. Arnold was a nationally recognized electrical engineer whose designs largely worked with electricity, railways and aeronautics.
He is buried in the Ashland Cemetery. Wright said Arnold has also been nominated to be featured in one of the three suites as a notable Nebraskan.
“We are in hopes Ashland’s Bion Arnold will be one of the names selected to represent, historically, a famous Nebraskan in this hotel setting,” Wright said.
The Nebraska-themed hotel will also include amenities like The Well and Good restaurant, The Red Owl rooftop lounge, coffee shop and gym.
Suter said the idea came about due to the different conferences hosted on Innovation Campus. Annually, Suter said the conference center would have about 30,000 guests. With the hotel just across the street from the center, guests will have the opportunity to learn about the history of Nebraska.
“What we’re trying to do is just give each guest the feeling of what that small town is like and give them a little history about where it is, how it started and where it’s at today,” Suter said.
Suter said the hotel is commissioning UNL photography students to travel to the communities to take photos that will be used in the hotel rooms. The hotel will also be a learning space for those studying the hotel, tourism and restaurant management major.
The historical society also sells several books that discuss Ashland’s history. “The First 150 Years,” “Main Streets Remembered” and Looking Over our Shoulders” are available at the Ashland Public Library and some copies are for sale at the Ashland History Museum, located at 207 N. 15th St. Wright said the historical society is happy to provide the brief and have Ashland’s history honored at the hotel.