WILLIAMS — From its earliest days until now, the Red Garter has been a labor of love. The early occupants sold love, and the early patrons bought love. Now John Holst takes care of it with loving hands.
The structure that houses the Red Garter Bed and Bakery was built in 1897 and served as a bordello for more than 40 years. The men drank on the first floor and the girls plied their trade on the second floor, reachable only by a 21-step staircase known as “the cowboy endurance test.” After the law clamped down on that form of diversion, the building became a flophouse, then a restaurant, then a warehouse.
When Holst bought it in 1979, there were 4,000 old tires stacked up inside. Holst quit his regular job and went about converting the building into a bed and breakfast with a bakery where the old saloon used to be. And now it’s inhabited by guests and, according to some of those who stay there, a ghostly apparition named Eve. Holst gets periodic reports that she wears a long dress and can be seen wandering the halls at night. Holst says she’s “harmless and shy.”
For details on sleeping over with Eve, call 800-328-1484 or visit the Red Garter B&B Inn.