Friday, May 4, 2012
"Our Home" Hotel Register
Pictured are two pages from the register book of Baldwyn's "Our Home" Hotel. Click on photo for larger view.
Notice the price for a night's lodging - two dollars. I think that may have included a meal, but I'm not sure. Sunday meals were open to the public for one dollar and included tea, coffee, fruit and dessert along with the meal.
People in those days were more careful with their handwriting, most all the entries shown here are in very legible script. The dates and other information in meticulous calligraphy were entered on the pages by "Uncle" George Pierce, porter and mainstay figure at the hotel. He was self-educated and a son of former slaves. George lived until 1949 and was revered by townsfolk and travelers alike. He was the wake up person to those who needed that service, he called everyone to dinner, and other things. Here he is shown with dinner bell in hand waiting for the precise moment to ring it for the guests.
Uncle George met all the trains with his luggage cart in tow. There were many visitors to this area, most notably salesmen. Notice on the register they had people from as far away as St. Louis. If you look close you'll notice that George usually put the weather for that day in the book next to the day and date.
The hotel burned several years ago. It stood at the corner of Front and Water streets. The front first faced the East and the railroad tracks, but eventually it was redesigned to face North. It also had many visitors in automobiles after train passenger service declined.
In its' heyday, there was a large bandstand nearby and during good weather many bands played there for the public.
Funny thing happened with this posting. I saw this book for the first time in many years just today. When it was handed to me, I opened it up without regard to where, and notice what the date is of my open pages. May 1st and additional days, 1910. Just a coincidence?
Thanks to Edwina Carpenter of the Brices' Crossroads Interpretive Center for these photos.
Posted by Carl Houston at 9:13 PM