Lee W. Sinclair and West Baden Springs Hotel
Lee W. Sinclair, principal among the leading citizens of his time, was a Washington County businessman and banker. Sinclair's fascination for the French Lick, West Baden area of Orange County inspired the creation of a grand resort. Taking advantage of the recently connected rail lines, Sinclair bought controlling interest in the West Baden Spring Hotel in 1888.
A devastating fire in 1901, allowed him to rebuild the Hotel in its current configuration. Architect, Harrison Albright and engineer Moses Shrum collaborated in it construction.
This striking and monumental structure is considered one of the most important historic buildings in Indiana, and is also associated with the Guy Shrum of Salem, who was the construction manager.
Today a single building on the Salem square is associated with the Sinclair name: the Sinclair Batt Building at 57 Public Square. This building, built in 1883, still features the Sinclair name on the parapet and was used as a
clothing and department store in the early twentieth century. In the 1920's it became one of the
few auto show rooms on the square.
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