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Historic buildings razed in Sublette

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 15th, 2013

The old Coachman Inn in downtown Sublette was demolished.

The former Coachman Inn in downtown Sublette is in the process of being razed. The Coachman is located in the middle of the business district on Main Street and is composed of two former buildings that were attached to each other to serve as one business.

The east portion of the building is purported to be the first store to have been built after the town was platted in 1854 as the town of "Soublette." Since the early 1900s the building has housed Arrigo's Confectionery and Tavern, Mini's Tavern, Rosander's Bar and Restaurant, John Arthur's Bar and Restaurant, and the Coachmen Inn, first owned by Lorraine Klein and later owned by Jim Pals.

The store on the west was built in the late 1930s by A.J. Lauer and Son. Previously, an old two-story building from the mid-1800s had stood on the site. The old building held several businesses over the years including Leffelman Heating and Plumbing. In 1893, A.J. Lauer established his plumbing and implement business. He later took on the John Deere line of farm equipment. Then in the mid-1930s he gave up the John Deere franchise and became an Oliver and New Idea farm equipment dealer.

In 1900, Dr. Benjamin H.S. Angear opened his medical office in the upstairs, but not without some difficulty. Dr. Angear thought the upstairs of Andy Lauer's store would make a good office, however, there was no outside stairway. When Doc insisted that steps be built, Andy hesitated and said, "See here young feller, how do I know you won't be out of here in a couple of weeks, and I don't need the stairs?" Consequently, out of the sum of $25, which Dr. Angear possessed when he left his Chicago home, he paid cash for an outside stairway to be built in order to make it possible for the patients to reach his office.

The Lauers, Andrew and Amor, operated their hardware and farm machinery business until 1943 when they sold to Vernon O. Bonnell. He continued to operate the hardware store as well as the Oliver and New Idea farm equipment business. Upon Bonnell moving the business down the street to the former Central Garage, the hardware store was operated by Robert Evans. After Evans sold out, the building served as a warehouse for a short time and then Vernon Becker opened an ITCO farm store.

In the early 1970s, Becker moved his store to his farm. Dale and Skip Rosander purchased the building as well as Mini's Tavern and combined them for their bar and restaurant. The Mini building served as the bar room and the west building served as the dining room.

The restaurant and bar was operated by John Rosenow, known as John Arthurs. Also, George Green and Dan Shay operated the business for a time. In 1978, Ray and Marsha Pertell purchased the business and continued until they sold to Lorraine Klein. When Mrs. Klein retired, the business was sold to Jim Pals who operated it for several years.

Since Pals closed the Coachman Inn several years ago, the building has remained empty and has gone to a state of disrepair. Recently the village of Sublette purchased the property and it has been razed, adding a new page to the history of Sublette.

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