Located in heart of historic Deer Lodge, in a quiet little valley amidst the Montana Rockies, The Vonnie Louise Inn maintains historic elements with modern amenities. Featuring large beautiful windows, for letting in the mountain breeze, and heated floors, to cut the winter chill, the home provides comfort for a year-round getaway.
Guests are encouraged to explore the quaint town, visit the historic Grant-Kohrs Ranch, glimpse into the history of the Old Territorial Prison, and indulge in a cool treat at the local ice cream shop. With a plethora of outdoor activities in the area, miles of nature trails, and panoramic views throughout the valley, any visitor can find enjoyment in the area.
Deer Lodge is conveniently located just off the I-90, halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, creating a point of relaxation for travelers navigating between the two. Whether staying the night or for a month, the Vonnie Louise provides clean comfortable accommodations, with contact free check-in.
The Vonnie Louise was built in 1892 as an in-town home for the prominent Zosel family. William Zosel was a horse-breeder and farmer, maintaining a large ranch five miles east of Deer Lodge. Located just blocks from the school buildings, the house was constructed so his children could attend school during the winter months.
In 1895, his sixth daughter Vonnie Grace Zosel was born in the house, (pictured along with her younger sister Eva and twins belonging to her older sister Martha). She and her mother Louise are the namesakes for the inn. Through a succession of several owners the house was eventually turned into apartments, but in the late 1990's was purchased back by a direct descendant, one of Vonnie's granddaughters. Tremendous effort was put into the house to bring it back to its old glory, now boasting four luxurious guestrooms.
A Bit of History
William Zosel was born in Leipzig, Germany in the 1850's. He married his wife Louise Hetzler in 1879, in Canton, MO. They then moved to his already established ranch, in the Deer Lodge valley. There they began an independent life.
Starting with meager earnings as a ranch hand in Canton, William persevered and become a well-known business entity within the Deer Lodge community. Through the years, William was part of several business ventures ranging from ranch expansion, to mining claims. Due to his co-discovery of a large claim and its proximity to the ranch, there was an entire mining district given the Zosel name.
The Zosel's had eleven children, seven daughters and four sons, between the years of 1882 and 1897. Their names in succession are: Clara Louise, Alma May, Martha Elizabeth, Mary Belle, John Delvin, William Hetzler, Lewis Charles, Charles Phillip, Anna Margaret, Vonnie Grace, and Eva May. Sadly, Lewis and Charles drown in the nearby Cottonwood Creek, as young boys.
The in-town house was built in 1892, to ensure proper education for the Zosel children, as the winter months proved too cold and dangerous to make a daily five mile trek to town. Louise Zosel drew-up the plans for the house, designing spacious rooms all boasting beautiful natural light, for her growing family.
In 1939, after the Zosel children had long finished high school, the house was sold to Art and Louise Newman. Louise was the granddaughter of the Zosel's, carrying her grandmother's name. They maintained ownership, until 1969, when the house was purchased by the Van Sickle family.
The house has had several owners, eventually being converted into apartments, but in 1997 was purchased by the great-granddaughter of William and Louise. She diligently worked to return the house back to it original floor plan, adding modern-day amenities.
Purchased in 2020 by the King-Chavez family, the Vonnie Louise features a quaint four-room inn upstairs, with family quarters on the bottom floor.