Sunday, April 5, 2015

Moore Hotel--Photo of the Day


    Prior to 1857, John Harvey Moore constructed a home on the corner of what is known today as 100 North and 100 West.  He later enlarged the home and established a nine-room hotel.  It was built across the street from the Simons Grist Mill.  The mill race (Peteetneet Creek) cut through the street north and then through the Moore property.  A plank bridge spanned the creek to give access to the hotel on the west or the barnyard on the east.
    Some of the sleeping rooms had four-poster beds laced with rope that had corn-husk or straw filled mattresses while other rooms had feather beds.  Feather beds and pillows were filled with feathers from the geese they kept.  The guests were served in dining room at a common table.
    The story is told that one of their neighbors used to throw scraps to the geese over the fence to eat.  The neighbor was also known to make her own grape wine.  One Sunday morning, as Mr. Moore and one of his wives looked out the back door, they observed that the geese appeared to all be dead.  They had no idea what had killed their geese.  They decided to pluck the feathers from the geese before going to church.
    On the way home, the Moores met a friend who inquired what had happened to their geese.  Mr. Moore told him the geese were all dead but he didn’t know the cause.  The friend replied, “Dead nothing, I never saw such an odd sight.  They’re all waddling around the yard with their feathers off, falling all over like they can’t stand up.”  After investigating, Mr. Moore found they were dead all right, “Dead Drunk” from eating the fermented grape pulp that had been dumped over the fence by the wine-making neighbor.
    The Moore Hotel later went out of business and the building was divided to be a home for two families.  Mrs. Anna Samuels-Smith acquired the building in the early 1900's.  Mrs. Samuels-Smith improved the west side of the building, added a dining room and a kitchen on the east side and constructed an annex at the rear.
    All of the rooms of the Strawberry Hotel were filled with boarders and roomers during the construction of the Strawberry Irrigation project that was being built at the time.  In 1925, the hotel was sold to Marcellus Burdick and his wife Elizabeth.  Mr. Burdick died in 1934 and his wife continued operating the hotel until 1936.
    Mrs. Burdick then leased the hotel to her sister, Eppie and her husband Charles E. Cloward Jr.  In 1942, the hotel was leased to Ida McDonald who operated the hotel until her death two years later.
    The next owner, Bill Pons, established the High Hat Café in the center of the building.  He built a room onto the southwest front and operated a bus depot for Greyhound and Continental Trailways bus lines.  The business was very successful during World War II.  After the war, the business became less profitable and the building was converted into apartments.

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