The Saint George Hotel originated in 1845 as a three-story structure with 47 rooms on the top two floors. Billed as a working man's hotel, the first floor provided a saloon, sample rooms, a lobby-tobacco shop, a restaurant, and two retail spaces. Weston quickly became known as a port town, where traveling salesmen took respite from the mighty river to set up temporary "sample" shops behind the saloon in The Saint George hotel where they sold their wares.
In the early 1800's, the Missouri River flowed briskly past its banks to a town which was established only eight years prior to the building of The Saint George. The river mightily flowed, bringing with it steamboat captains and travelers from all walks of life. Weston, Missouri, established in 1837, became a boom town in those days and was one of the two largest ports on the Missouri River, second only to St. Louis, Missouri. The pathway of the river played a major role in this great boom. It was the last place wagon trains could stock up before they crossed the Missouri River and entered wilderness. The steamboats unloaded supplies for Fort Leavenworth and supplies for Westward travelers, and then loaded back up with Weston products of tobacco, hemp ropes, hides, and later lumber, whiskey, and fruit as they headed home. The population in Weston soared to about 5,000 in those days, surpassing both Kansas City and St. Joseph.