The Thurston Hotel was the last grand hotel of 19th Century Columbus hosting noteworthy social gatherings and featuring elegant dining including special menus of wild game. The Thurston was managed by George Lehman who, in 1869, purchased the American House which was constructed in 1857 as a publicly-owned and first hotel in Columbus. Lehman used the frame of the American House for his Grand Pacific Hotel. Following that endeavor, he became part of the Columbus Improvement Company which built the Thurston for $21,000 and subsequently operated it. The Thurston was razed in 1946 to make way for the large J.C.Penneys store which was later used as a furniture store and is now the Artsy Haven scrapbooking and craft store.
About George Lehman: The Civil War broke out when George Lehman was 13 years of age. At 15, he fooled recruiters so he could enlist in the Union Army. He came to Columbus at age 19 and by age 20 was a lieutenant in Major Frank North’s Pawnee Scouts.