Having been occupied from the 1850s until the early 1960s, the building sat vacant for almost twenty years when, in 1982, the City of Waynesville condemned the structure and earmarked it for demolition. A group of citizens, led by Gene and Maxine Farnham, set about to save this oldest building in Pulaski County. Negotiations with the owner resulted in the May, 1983 sale of the old hotel to the Farnhams and James and Connie Martin for the purchase price of $40,000. In June, the mortgage was transferred to the Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation.
The Foundation's first task was to stabilize the building. A matching grant from the Misouri Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Program provided funds to engage a preservation architect, engineering firm, and construction company to accomplish this. The exterior of the building was restored to its 1890 appearance, as found in a surviving photograph. This work was completed by October of 1984.
With a $40,000 mortgage (plus interest) and its share of the grant to pay, the Foundation's focus for the next decade was fundraising. Memberships, donations, and special events led to the retirement of the debt in 1993. It was a remarkable feat for a volunteer group in a rural Ozark area.