EARLY VICTORIA HOTELS
Victoria City Seal
VICTORIA COUNTY, TEXAS
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NOTES ON EARLY RESIDENTS OF VICTORIA.

The following material was excerpted from The 88th Anniversary Edition of the Victoria Advocate, published September 28, 1934. (You can use the "Find" button in your toolbar to search for a certain name.)

VICTORIA HOTELS THAT USED TO BE

(SOURCE: The Victoria Advocate, Sunday, May 17, 1970. . .” Vignettes of Old Victoria”, by Sidney R. WEISIGER.)

One of the earliest hotels in Victoria was the VICTORIA HOTEL, which was operated by a Mr. HARRISON about 1847. It was located at Bridge and Forrest Streets, later the first site of Trinity Episcopal Church (this church has now moved). This hotel became well known in the coast section of Texas and was recommended as a stopping place for the German settlers passing through Victoria in the 1840’s. In connection with the hotel was a tavern or barrel house, which was on the west side of the building. James A. ROBINSON became the owner and in 1849 sold to George WRIGHT who a short time later sold to David SUTHERLAND of Bexar Co. The price was $1,500 and from the itemized account of the furnishings, the hotel must have been rather small.

About 1858 Mrs. John STARKEY built a hotel at the corner of William and Juan Linn Streets. Her son, William was operator and later her daughter operated here as the “THOMPSON HOUSE”. On through a number of owners C.H. FREEMAN in 1897 advertised as the VICTORIA HOTEL with electric lights and a telephone. In 1913 the building was moved to the corner of Juan Linn and Liberty Streets. In 1918 it was demolished and the lumber used to erect ranch buildings south of Victoria.

At the time the VICTORIA HOTEL was on Forrest and Bridge there was another hotel on Forrest Street, on a site later occupied by Park Garage, now a parking lot. This was the famous old “GLOBE HOUSE”, which was a nice brick building and in 1855 consisted of 12 guest rooms, a dining room, kitchen, stable, orchard and garden. About this date J.L. NICKELSON sold to the “Western Texas State Co.” Some six or seven years later the plant was remodeled and enlarged. A fire January 1 of 1860 or 1861 destroyed much of the buildings. At this time the hotel could afford accommodations for about 400 persons. All sleeping rooms were elegantly and conveniently furnished. Twenty rooms had fireplaces.

The store of Mr. SCHWARTZ also burned and as neither business had insurance the hotel owners, Mr. NICKELSON and Mr. KENDRICK lost about $30,000. This fire was caused by an overheated stove pipe in the kitchen during the dinner hour. J.I. RUNDELL was probably the last operator of this famous old hotel which closed a few years after the Civil War.

CARTER HOUSE, located on the 100 block of East Forrest, played a prominent part of early Victoria life. Mr. and Mrs. CARTER, formerly of the “MAGNOLIA HOUSE” of Indianola, were the owners in 1879. This was a very popular home away from home. Some of the guests during the week of June 1-6, 1879 were Judge HUNTER of Goliad; H. ROOKE, Refugio; T. STERNE, Victoria Co.; Free GREEN, Victoria; J.J. and R.H. WELDER, Refugio; Wm. and Winn TRAYLOR of the area now known as Bloomington; Rev. Mr. POTTER, Mission Valley; Frank B. OWENS, Texana; and Gee W. WEST, Sweet Home.

The MUTI, ST. JAMES and HERMAN HOUSE were on the 100 and 200 blocks of East Forrest from an early date.

One other hotel of a very early date was the CITY HOTEL. In the election of 1842 this hotel was one of the voting places. About January of 1845 the building was being repaired, and the only room that was tight was the parlor or lobby. A large stove supplied heat, and tobacco-chewing men sat near for warmth. These men, according to an old account, left at dark but returned about dawn and started drinking whiskey.

This was CITY HOTEL NO. 1. Another CITY HOTEL at 106 E. Juan Linn St., was opened by A.M. WOOLEY in August 1916.

INGRAM HOTEL on East South Street, now known as Santa Rosa, was started by Judge INGRAM in 1841 and closed by shortage of food and supplies in 1861.

The “MAGNOLIA HOUSE”, operated by Mr. and Mrs. John SNEIR in 1896, was opposite the Express Office. Hacks ran to and from all trains. The rate was $1 per day.

The old building at Juan Linn and William was under many names. Some of these were SHARKEY, THOMPSON, VICTORIA, MUTI, CENTRAL UNION, GRAND CENTRAL and others.

To try to describe and tell of the many hotels of Victoria would take a book. There were many that are not mentioned. Of all these places the DENVER HOTEL was the last hotel in downtown Victoria. It was demolished in 1978.

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