I shot this photo of birds flying around inside the St. Charles Hotel on March 11, 1967, and it ran on the front page of The Missourian on March 13. It had been sold Dec. 16, 1965, and was in the process of being razed when I took the picture. The roof had been removed and the interior was being gutted.
Gen. Grant slept here
Gen. U.S. Grant was registered in Room 5 for 50 days during the Civil War. Carrie Nation, of axe-wielding, saloon-busting fame, was a guest in 1907.
The building was completed in January of 1861. It was THE place to stay at the time. It was four stories tall, had verandas, an observatory, views of the river and large ventilated rooms.
The rooms had electric fans, according to this sign taken between Cape and Jackson April 13, 1967. Of course, by this time, the roof was off and ventilation was plentiful. I wonder what the $1.50 room looked like.
I stayed in an old hotel with spacious rooms in Piedmont for $2 a night during that era, so it’s possible that you COULD get a room that cheaply. The bathroom was down the hall, but it WAS inside.
The Missourian carried a notice of sale July 23, 1965. In it, it mentioned that the hotel building was four stories tall, had 70 feet of frontage, 50 rooms to rent and three tenants on the first floor (with written leases expiring at different times).
St. Charles Drug Store
The St. Charles Drug Store must have been one of the tenants, because a story on Jan. 18, 1967, said that the store was moving to the southwest corner of Broadway and Main St., to the building formerly occupied by the Singer Company. The move was going to require extensive renovations to the ground and second floors of the property.
Here’s a 2009 photo of the corner of the property where the Singer Company / St. Charles Drugstore was located.
Sterling’s replaced St. Charles Hotel
I shot this photo of the Sterling Store in January 1968. It must have been a cold day, because there is snow on the car parked in front of the store.
When I was home the last couple of times, I walked all of Main St., Broadway and Water St. shooting landmark buildings. The Sterling store must have been non-memorable enough that I didn’t waste any electrons on it.
Links to other photos
The Singer Company building and the St. Charles show up in the backgrounds of earlier stories I’ve posted.
- Singer sign visible in background of photos of teen dance held on bank parking lot.
- Aerial photos of downtown Cape
[Editor’s note: things will be a bit slow here for a couple of days. I’m loading up the van to head back to Cape for the reunion, so I may not be posting until I get set up at my Mother’s house again. Hope to see a bunch of you there.]