The Veranda opened in 1883 as the Hotel Lempert. The hotel had 35 rooms, a livery stable and bath house. All of these buildings still exist on the property. It was built to serve visitors to the fort and travelers on the Overland Trail stage coach route.
The fort was at its pinnacle in the 1880's with almost 700 men stationed there in 1884. The hotel is one block from the legendary Overland trail, one remnant of which is still unpaved and in use today as a local street (Fort Street). In addition to the Lempert, the hotel has been known as the Stewart Hotel and the Clark Apartments over its almost 130 year life.
Our most famous former guest is Commanche Chief Quanah Parker, who stayed at the Hotel Lempert in 1884. He travelled to the area (with a military escort) to gather Peyote from the slopes of Mitre Peak.
The building itself is much as it was over a hundred years ago. Its two-foot-thick walls are built of adobe. The architectural style is Territorial, a blend of Pueblo and Victorian architecture common in western frontier towns of the period. The floors are mostly oak or pine planks. Beaded pine is used for wainscoting and most of the twelve-foot-high ceilings. Most of the doors, windows and hardware are original.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes Fort Davis as one of only 12 distinctive destination sites in the United States. National Trust officials said "With no traffic lights or chain stores, Fort Davis is gateway to an unspoiled terrain, offering an extraordinary blend of majestic scenery, abundant wildlife, and cultural resources that bring to life the history of the 19th-century western frontier."