DAVENPORT PAST AND PRESENT
The following pictures are included with this chapter: The Burtis House and The Scott House. To view these pictures please go to the Scott County, Iowa main page and click on Picture/Documents sections.
Located on corner of Iowa and Fifth streets.-Dr. J. J. Burtis, Proprietor.
This house is by far the best Hotel in the West, and in deed contradiction is challenged, when it is asserted, that the "Burtis House" for elegance, accommodation, beauty of structure, and in all its details, is inferior to no House in the United States. For this last reason a particular description will not be deemed amiss, and will furthermore fully evidence the assertion of its superiority.
The "Burtis House" is a simple Dining Room, surrounded on three sides by Parlors, Halls, Bedrooms, Closets, &c., rising to the height of five stories, including basement. The whole structure is 118 feet on Fifth street, and 109 feet on Iowa street. The Dining Room is 39 by 81 feet, supported by iron columns, and magnificently frescoed by Messrs. Patterson & Hildebrand.
In the Basement there is the Engine Room, containing an engine of thirty-five horse power, which, in connection with one of Worthington's pumps, forces the water to a tank in the fifth story, from which, in hot and cold jets it is distributed to every Hall in the house. The boiler in this room was made by Walworth, Hubbard & Co., of Chicago. The boiler, steam and gas fitting, and plumbing, was made by Mr. Merwin of this city. There are also upon this floor a Laundry Room, veined by steam pipes; a Restaurant, Billiard Room, Bar Room, Smoking Room, Barber Shop, Bath Room, and three Store Rooms, together with a multiplicity of smaller rooms, closets, &c., unnecessary to mention.
On the first floor is found the Rotunda, a marble-floored, lofty, and roomy arrangement, with trumpets, bells, &c., beautifully frescoed, together with three imposing stair cases, leading respectively to the Ladies, Gents, and other rooms above. It communicates by wide Halls with the Ladies and Gents' Parlors on this floor, with external entrances, and with the stairways above alluded to. Upon this floor are also the Dining Room (by far the most splendid specimen of architectural beaurty in the West,) Reading Room, Ladies Parlors with folding doors, Wash and Private rooms, the latter projected in all particulars similar to those of St. Nicholas Hotel, New York City.
Passing from this floor to the second, by either of the beautifully constructed staircases, one is compelled to admire the work of Mr. Walker, one of the best Stairway Builders in the West. On the second floor are Parlors, with bedrooms attached. Linen closets, suits of bed-rooms and parlors attached for the use of several families. The servants rooms are detached from other parts of the house, and like every other room in the house, are well warmed and ventilated. Each room is warmed by steam, and cooking is done by the same means. Every room is lofty, and from most of them magnificent views of Bluff or river scenery are obtainable. The Dining Room, occupying as it does the centre of the house, is lighted from front, rear and skylight. Its being located in the precise spot it is, makes it a vast improvement over everything else of the kind. The Rotunda is in all respects a fine specimen of design and finish, and successfully challenges comparison.
There are 150 sleeping rooms in the house; basement 18 rooms; first floor 18, exclusive of the Rotunda; and the remainder of the rooms are distributed on the floors above. The House inself is on the Railroad, and but a few steps from the Depot, thus saving to travelers the expense of Omnibus bill.
In concluding the notice of the "Burtis House," it is but justice to the excellence of the parties to state, that the head builder is Mr. Wm. Poole; the plasterers Messrs. Rambo & Crimp; J. H. Morton, Painter; John Hillar, Stone Mason; McManus & Wilkinson, Brick Masons; the marble flooring by Ed. Wathan; and the Iron Castings by Jamme, Donnelly & Lea. The whole superstructure was designed by Dr. Burtis, assisted in part by Messrs. Underwood & Cochrane, and "last, but not least," by Mr. Carroll.
In regard to Dr. Burtis but little need be said-as former Lessee of "LeClaire House," and of the house in Lexington, Mo., he gained a reputation for management in the Hotel business, which no eulogy can heighten. There is but a small share of western travel for a few years back, that has not been indebted to Dr. Burtis for those gentlemanly and hospitable attentions that tend so much to lessen the discomforts of travel, and to ameliorate the hardships of absence from home.
The Furniture, which is of the very best quality, was furnished in New York. Mattrasses, Linen, Bedding, Carpet, &c., of A. T. Stewart; Table Fruniture from Haughout & Co., 488 Broadway, New York; and the other articles from various other establishments.
The whole house is lighted by Gas, and in every respect superior to any other in the United States.
To omit adding that Dr. Burtis possesses as his assistant Frank Kendrick, would be to leave unsaid one of the most valuable facts in regard to the "Burtis House." To all who know him, nothing need be said, in regard to his qualifications-to others it need merely be said, that he is-a gentleman.
This House is so well known to the traveling community, that any notice of it is almost superflusous. It was built in 1839, at a cost of $35,000, by Antoine LeClaire, and was at the time a marvel of beauty and magnitude; and was not excelled anywhere in the Mississippi Valley. It was for a time Davenport proper,-inasmuch as it was the rallying point for all residents of the city, and during the Summer was a resort for visitors from St. Louis and other southern cities, who came here with their families to ruralize, hunt, escape warm weather and yellow fever.
It was first taken by Mr. Hulse, then Chapman, next Miller, then Dr. Burtis, (the present proprietor of the late finished Burtis House,) and is now kept by Messrs. Batteman, Seits & Schuyler.
The arrivals for the past year have averaged thirty-five per day, and the average of regular boarders has been about seventy.
On Third Street, between Rock Island and Perry streets.
This House, now a very popular one, has undergone some remarkable transformations. It was originally a Nunnery, then a dwelling, a third rate hotel, and finally under the enterprising management of its present proprietor, A. H. Cole, Esq., it has assumed the proportions, comforts, and appurtenances of a first-class House. Number of borders forty-five. Number of rooms sixty.
NEW PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE.
C. Davis, Proprietor.
This House on the corner of Iowa and Fourth streets, has lately been largely increased in size. It is built of stone and its dimensions are sixty-four feet front, one hundred and thirty feet deep and five stories in height, and contains one hundred and two rooms. Number of boarders one hundred and twenty. It has one of the best wells attached to it in the city, being cut through solid rock to the depth of 150 feet, at a cost of $1,000. The gentlemanly proprietor, Mr. Davis, is a veteran in the business, and has long been identified with the business of Hotel Keeping in Davenport. He is one of the oldest settlers, and deservedly enjoys a large amount of public patronage. Attached to the basement is a Billiard and Refreshment Saloon.
William Anderson, Proprietor.-76 Second street.
Corner Third and Iowa streets.-Benj. Denton, Proprietor.
Size fifty-seven by sixty-four. Forty rooms, and accommodation for one hundred boarders. This popular house is kept on Temperance priciples,-has a barbar-shop attached. Mr. Denton is from Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and is deservedly liked by his many friends.
E. L. Lindley, Proprietor.-68 Second street.
William Egbert, Proprietor.-Rock Island, between Fifth and Sixth streets.
J. K. Rhodes, Proprietor.-On Harrison street, between Front and Second. Sixteen rooms. Boarders average forty.
F. Steiner, Proprietor.-Corner Main and Front streets. Sixteen rooms. Can accommodate thirty boarders.
OLD PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE.
Second street, between Main and Harrison.-W. Davis, Proprietor. Sixteen rooms. Can accommodate twenty-five boarders.
Jas. Merritt, Proprietor.-Main street between Second and Third. Twelve rooms. Average fifteen boarders.
F. Haisch, Proprietor.-Front street, between Harrison and Main. Sixteen rooms. Average thirty boarders.
Jos. Luderscher, Proprietor.-On Front street, between Main and Brady. Eighteen rooms. Average thirty boarders.
STEFFEN'S BOARDING HOUSE.
Corner Second street and Washington Square.
Corner Harrison and Front streets.-J. J. Humphrey, Proprietor.
Size 50 by 100 feet, four stories high, one hundred rooms. Average sixty boarders. This house has one of the finest locations in the city. It fronts the River and commands a view of Rock Island City, the Island, Fort Armstrong, Mississippi Bridge, and a long stretch of beautiful scenery up and down the River. It is the nearest point to the Steamboat Landing, and possesses in its elegant structure, fine view, excellent accommodation, and worthy landlord, high claims to the patronage of the public. Board $1.50 per day for transient, and $6.00 to $8.00 per week for permanent boarders.