NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — An 1890s dilapidated building that was a coal miner’s drinking club will become a hotel, restaurant, and events complex as part of a $3.4 million construction project.
General contractor Dan Sherman, who also sits on the Nelsonville City Council as vice president, is pouring millions of dollars into re-developing a town center eyesore. The building was damaged so badly by fire and water that several walls at one end of the building were torn away.
Sherman, who lives in a house in Nelsonville, said he got talked into the project three years ago. He estimates another year or so until completion.
“The back was leaking so bad, it was starting to crumble, and the fire chief condemned the building,” Sherman said. “I contacted the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and good friends talked me into taking over this project.” He raised the funds through local supporters, and the project is “almost completely funded” now.
Workers knocked out a badly damaged back wall, and they’re now replacing joists. Once that job is done, a block and brick veneer wall will go up to replace it.
Sherman found bottles in the rubble, and crews pulled out 35 dumpsters of junk.
But he sees the historical value in the old building. “Coal miners used to go down into the basement, change their clothes into lockers, then go upstairs and spend their evening. We have a lot of old mines around here that have been played out or abandoned.”
At the front of the building, Hotel Sherman will feature restored sandstone, stained glass, ironwork, and brickwork. Step inside, and it’s difficult to see Sherman’s vision in the wrecked ceiling, walls, and floors, but it’s there — in plans for a restored arch, hopes for a restored original floor, a diner, wine bar, and hotel.
“This will be Hotel Sherman, and the diner, I have a surprise name for that,” Sherman said. “They made a movie in Nelsonville and I’m going to honor that movie by that diner. I’m going to call this the Mischief Diner, and put memorabilia in there from the movie.”
It takes real vision for a project like this to become reality, but Sherman said he’s an experienced developer and wants to leave this legacy for Nelsonville.