Historic Rhode Island Hotel
This article was published in issue 206 of the Search Parker magazine, February 2020.
“Most of us in Parker know Fika Coffee on Mainstreet. What you might not know is a bit of Parker history, as Fika is housed in what was once the Rhode Island Hotel. Also called the Rhode Island House, Goddard Hotel and/or the Parker Hotel. The Rhode Island Hotel was built for Martin and Nellie Goddard in 1906 and opened on Thanksgiving Day.
it was luxurious for the time, boasting steam heating, acetylene lighting, hot and cold water on both floors and a built-in sanitary system. After several successful years, Martin invested in the Cherry Creek Telephone Company and the hotel became the town telegraph office in 1913.
It wasn’t all good luck, as the hotel basement flooded in 1912 and a fire destroyed the livery stable as well as all the Cherry Creek Telephone Co. wire and supplies stored there in 1917. The next year, Martin Goddard died, although there is no record of the exact date. Mrs. Goddard, arguably one of Parker’s biggest boosters, died in 1924. She is buried in an unmarked grave next to her husband in Parker Cemetery.
The Rhode Island Hotel has had several owners over the years, most notably, Charlie O’Brien. He operated a hardware store, liquor store and real estate office in the building. Over the years, the hotel became ensconced in the present building and if you look across the street, you can make out the front dormer. From the rear, you can clearly see the outline of the original building.”
For more information about Parker History, visit www.parkerhistory.org