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We're Green and Getting Greener
We enjoy cooking up delicious breakfasts that are also nutritious and balanced. We take your individual dietary needs into consideration to the best of our ability, and for all of our guests we avoid ingredients like refined sugar and "bad oils" that may not be in the best interests of your health and vitality. Although we are vegetarians, we serve high-quality chicken and turkey breakfast meats. Let us know if your preferences are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, low-carb or other — we will comply.
We have a strong commitment to locally sourced delicacies, including vegetables, herbs and fruits in season, and eggs from free-range environments. Also, your plate scrapings, coffee grounds and tea leaves go into our compost bin (some choice items may go to our goats, Felix and Fanny Mendelsohn). The composted table scraps will help fertilize the herbs and vegetables in next year’s hotel garden.
You may notice the sun-fresh aroma of your bed and bathroom linens. Except on rare days when the rains don't let up at all, we line-dry everything. Sunlight, live plants and open doors and windows freshen our air. We clean bathroom surfaces with essential oils and white vinegar, and generally take care to avoid toxic chemicals in our housekeeping.
Every four weeks we get a delivery of fresh organic and natural foods and cleaning products from Azure Standard in Oregon. This helps us to minimize our 90-mile round-trip shopping excursions. Also, we are also doing our best to eliminate single-use plastics from our food shopping and storage routines.
A Brief History
Our classic territorial building opened its doors in 1914 as the Hotel Hobbs. Within a couple of years Mr. Hobbs had sold to Mr. Witt, who then transferred ownership to Thomas Simpson.
By the time the earliest surviving photograph was published, in 1922, the "Simpson Hotel" painted across the top of the building was evident even through the dense cottonwood trees that lined Main Street in earlier times.
Back then all the bedrooms were small, and each had a solitary light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and a dry sink. Most rooms had small fireplaces.
In the 1940s The Simpson was in its heyday. Duncan was booming as a railway and agriculture center supporting the many small gold and silver mines that were scattered around the hills to the north and west. Owners Second (se-cónd) and Nadine Francese welcomed mining engineers, teachers and other professionals as long-term residents. Their niece Sandi Dixon much later uncovered a family secret: Nadine and Second hid their marriage for two years so that Nadine would not lose her job: teachers were required to be spinsters in those times. Eventually word got out and the school adapted its policy to retain her.
Second Francese had a putting green in the back – he and Nadine evidently enjoyed their hotel life to the fullest. They were close friends with the noted Western artist Hal Empie and his wife Louise; Empie was the proprietor of Empie’s Drug and Art Gallery just around the corner on the highway. The Franceses made a gift of the hotel’s old clock to the Empies when they moved away from Duncan. The Empie family returned that clock to the hotel a few years ago. It is one of our most cherished possessions.
The hotel, like the town, remained prosperous until the new Interstate 10 drew traffic and commerce away to the south. Later the building housed the Duncan Valley Electric Co-op, which modernized the ground floor but moved out after the Gila River flooded the building to table height in 1978. A few different owners in succession took steps to restore the hotel, though none reached their goal. Our renovation, begun in January of 2006, involved a full six months of demolition followed by a year of reconstruction. We opened our doors as a B&B in May of 2007.