The history of The Swindall Inn, a boarding house for black tourists in Phoenix

Valley 101 show

Summary: Before anti-segregation milestones like Brown vs. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, black tourists were prohibited from staying at most hotels. One of the few options for minority travelers in Phoenix was The Swindall House, also known as the Swindall Tourist Inn. Located at 1021 E. Washington Street, the inn is named after its second owners, Golden and Elvira Swindall. But its story begins with a Belgian immigrant in 1913. And rumor has it that famous black performers like jazz pianist Count Basie and athlete like baseball player Jackie Robinson stayed there. But efforts to locate a guestbook to verify those claims have failed. In fact, much of the building's history has been lost to time. Producer Taylor Seely spent two months uncovering the Swindall House's rich history, significance and lasting legacy for this episode of Valley 101.