Shaffer Hotel & Rancho Bonito

Clem “Pop” Shaffer  |  1880-unknown  |  Mountainair, NM
Lodging and home environment  |  Rancho Bonito – 1937 • Shaffer Hotel – 1922

In the early 1900s, “Pop” Shaffer moved to Mountainair, New Mexico—a thriving community known as the “Pinto Bean Capitol of the World”—to work as a blacksmith. In 1923, after his blacksmith shop burned, he built the Shaffer Hotel to serve rail travelers and local workers. Inspired by Native American design, he painted the graphic interiors and exteriors of his hotel and home, as well as building a native stone fence and outbuilding inlaid with whimsical animals and characters.  

The Hotel has been preserved and the new owners can give you a great tour, complete with  stories of Pop’s orneriness.  Down the road, about 3-4 miles, you will find Pop’s house and outbuildings, preserved by his son, Don Shaffer.  There are 4 buildings that Pop created.   The stone house features beautiful inlays, and the dairy barn is replete with vividly painted designs…(no, those aren’t swastikas, they are Native American symbols.)  There is also a log cabin and out building.