Saturday, February 7, 2015

Postcard of building that's been gone for a century (Washington Hotel)

Here's a battle-scarred, never-used postcard, probably from before 1910, of the Washington Hotel in Monterey, California. The postcard was part of The PCK Series, from Paul C. Koeber Co.1

One-third of the back of the postcard has been designated for:

In space below May be written senders nam and addres.
(No others writting).

So it's not truly a split-back postcard, as no message can be included.

The Washington Hotel was, as you might imagine, old even before this postcard image was taken (sometime in the first decade of the 20th century). According to administrator Claire Martin on CAGenWeb Monterey County Genealogy:
"The Old Washington Hotel was California's first hotel and stood on the northwest corner of Washington and Pearl streets. The building was erected in 1832 and for a few years was the private residence of Don Enrique Montenegro.

"The hotel, which was fifty feet in width and over two hundred feet in length was built of adobe in 1840, the adobe being obtained from the rear of the San Carlos Church. The trees which were cut down to make way for the building were used to support the roof. The building would accommodate over a hundred lodgers.

"A nest of gamblers, fifty in number, arrived in Monterey, May 12, 1847, and opened up a 'monte' game in the Washington Hotel. Then Alcalde Walter Colton took a file of soldiers and surrounded the place, arresting the whole outfit. He took them into the bar, told them about the schoolhouse he was building, and fined them $20 each. The proprietor was fined $100 — which made a nice sum toward the building of Colton Hall. After the discovery of gold, it became the gambling headquarters of the town.

"In 1849 during the Constitutional Convention the hotel was leased for $1200 per month, its rates being then $200 a month without board.

"It is at this site where, at ten o'clock on the evening of June 18, 1856, Mr. Lewis Belcher was shot while sitting at the bar, a victim of the infamous Belcher-Roach vendetta murders.

"The Old Washington Hotel was torn down in 1914-15, it too becoming a victim of progress."

So it had quite a history from 1832 until 1914!

Here's an 1894 photograph of the hotel from the Library of Congress:

A little more about the hotel and its intriguing history can be found in the blog post "A Mystery in History."

1. The PCK Series and its logo were previously discussed in this August 2013 post.

No comments:

Post a Comment