The Durlin Hotel, now the Oatman Hotel, is located at 181 Main
Street in Oatman, AZ. The bar and restaurant are open to
the public Monday-Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday and Sunday,
8:00am to 6:00pm. The museum is temporarily closed.
For information, call the hotel at 928-768-4408.
Located in beautiful and historic Oatman and
named for its builder John Durlin, the Durlin Hotel is the only
historic two-story adobe building in Mohave County. From its
famous guests to its otherworldly inhabitants, the Durlin, known
as the Oatman Hotel today, is a must stop for Route 66
The namesake for the town of Oatman was Olive
Oatman, a young Illinois woman kidnapped by Apache Indians and
forced into slavery. The town of Oatman in the Black Mountains
of Mohave County flourished soon after prospectors discovered
gold worth $13 million dollars in 1908 and another gold mine in
1915 worth $14 million dollars. Oatmanís population ballooned to
3,500 within a year. In the 1920s and 30s, the population grew
to around 10,000. In 1921, a fire swept through the town
destroying most of Oatmanís buildings. Originally built in 1902,
the Durlin Hotel was rebuilt in 1924 after the fire.
eight-room hotel enjoyed a prosperous business with local
miners. The walls and ceiling of the hotelís saloon are covered
in one-dollar bills that are dated and signed, a practice that
began with the miners, who searched for their dollar bill on the
wall when they were short on cash to pay for their drinks.
Clark Gable and Carole Lombard stopped at the historic
Durlin Hotel for their honeymoon after their wedding in Kingman,
Arizona in 1939. Mr. Gable fell in love with the town and often
returned to play poker with local miners. The Gable/Lombard
honeymoon suite is one of the hotelís attractions, and the
hotelís owners report that the pair loved the hotel so much they
simply refused to leave. They claim their ghosts still occupy
the building and are often heard whispering and laughing in
empty rooms. The friendly poltergeist Oatie is known to occupy
the hotel as well and is believed to be the ghost of William Ray
Flour, an Irish miner who died behind the hotel. Other friendly
spirits are said to inhabit the hotel, including playful ghosts
in the saloon, who have been known to raise money off the bar
and lift glasses into the air.
In 1924, United Eastern
Mines, the townís major employer, permanently closed its
operations in Oatman. By 1941, the U.S. Government ordered the
shutdown of the townís remaining mining operations as part of
the countryís war efforts. Miners were sent elsewhere to work in
the extraction of more valuable wartime metals.
was fortunate because of its location on U.S. Highway 66, and
local commerce shifted toward accommodating motorists traveling
between Kingman, Arizona and Needles, California. From
1926 to 1952, the Mother Road coursed through the heart of town,
sustaining a healthy tourism business. Interstate 40
bypassed Oatman in the early 1950s, however, leaving the town
all but abandoned within a decade. Today, the community has only
about 100 fulltime residents who primarily cater to tourists.
In the late 1960s, the Durlin Hotelís name was changed to
the Oatman Hotel. The hotel no longer has overnight
accommodations but still houses a bar and restaurant on the
first floor and a museum on the upper floors. It was
listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.