The historic Sage Inn and Stagecoach Station in Dover, Kansas dates back to 1865 and is currently operated as a Bed and Breakfast.
The Sage Inn was founded by Alfred Sage after he and his brother John and their families moved to Kansas from Iowa. Originally from Sommersetshire, England the Sage’s immigrated to New York in 1848 and moved to Iowa in 1854. Active in the abolitionist movement the Sage’s decided to move to Kansas in July 1856 to help Kansas become a free state.
Traveling by way of the “Lane Trail” John and his wife Elizabeth and Alfred and his wife Mary were among the first thirty wagons to come into Kansas using the Lane Trail which had been established by General James Lane as a safer way of passage for anti-slavery immigrants to come into Kansas. The Sage’s and their group were met by John Brown at Nebraska City, Nebraska and escorted to Topeka, Kansas.
After arriving in Kansas the Sage brothers settled on land along Mission Creek southwest of Topeka in Shawnee County, Kansas. As active abolitionists it is thought that the Sage’s might have been part of the Underground Railroad that aided runaway slaves seeking their freedom. Alfred’s first wife died after which he joined the Union Army as part of the Kansas Battalion. In 1864 he remarried Mary Ann Buell whose family had settled in the area in 1854 and owned the land that the Sage Inn would be built on.
The original part of the Sage Inn was built in 1865 on the banks of Mission Creek to serve as a stagecoach stop providing food and lodging for travelers on the Southwest Trail. The inn was strategically located at one of only two fords over Mission Creek and at the eastern edge of the scenic Kansas Flint Hills. Located one day’s travel from Topeka and another day’s journey to Council Grove the Sage Inn was situated to be an important stop for travelers. At that time Alfred Sage signed a contract with the Southwestern Stage Company and he and is brothers John and Mark began to build what would be known as the Sage Inn.
Both Mark and John were well known stone masons who built many stone homes, barns and bridges in Shawnee and Wabaunsee Counties. They also were masons on the original Kansas Capitol building in Topeka from 1866-1869 as well as helping build the Crane farm which is the administration building for the Topeka Cemetery.
In 1878 the inn was expanded to the seven-gable stone inn that exists today. During the peak of its activity the Sage Inn Stagecoach Stop also included an ice house, blacksmith shop, livery stable and corals for the stage line stock.
Built into the side of a hill the building appears to be only two stories from the front but actually is a three story structure that features 18 inch thick walls of native limestone. Alfred Sage operated the Inn from 1865 until his death in 1905. In addition to the Inn Mr. Sage built the General Store of Dover which is located south of the Inn and also had a grist mill. The Sage family were founding fathers of Dover, Kansas which was named after Dover, England.
With seven bedrooms and 6-1/2 bathrooms the historic Sage Inn is used as a Bed and Breakfast today. Located south of Topeka, Kansas and featuring beautiful landscaping and a historical setting the Sage Inn offers travelers a unique place to stay whether they are traveling across the state of Kansas or just want a getaway to spend some time relaxing from the bustle of city life.
For more information please see the website for the Sage Inn Stagecoach Stop and Bed and Breakfast.