The 1899 Inn was built by Henry Benjamin Wardman, who came to Deadwood at the age of 33 in 1878 as a tinsmith, sheet metal worker and plumber. Hardware workers were in high demand among the gold mines of the northern Black Hills, and being gainfully employed, Wardman bought some land and built a small one-story house in Deadwood’s Ingleside neighborhood. In 1884, Wardman became partners in the hardware business with George Ayres, and the next year he married Alma Hammond. Alma and Henry had two children: Warren and Ruth, who both later moved to Los Angeles.
Alma passed away while the children were still young. But the hardware business was good, and in 1898, Wardman sold out to his partner. That same year, he moved his existing home to the back of his property in Ingleside and began construction of a much larger Queen Anne-style house at the front of the lot. When it was completed in early 1899, the 12-room home was one of the largest in Deadwood.
Later that same year, Wardman remarried. Catherine Phillips came to Deadwood with her parents in 1878, where they worked in the grocery business. Catherine’s father had passed away by the time she married Wardman, so Mrs. Phillips came to live with the newlyweds.
Wardman passed away in 1926, but Catherine continued to live in the home throughout the 1930s, operating it as a boarding house during the Great Depression. Unlike other large homes in Deadwood, it wasn’t converted into apartments during the Post-War years, leaving many of the architectural features and fixtures in tact. Though the home was largely well-maintained over the years, it fell into some disrepair in the 2000s, and was put into foreclosure following the 2007 housing crisis. The home was vacant for about three years until it was purchased by Dustin and Laura Floyd, the current owners, in 2010.