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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

The Western Hotel

The Western Hotel


The photograph of The Western Hotel, which was located on the southwest corner of W. Bridge St. and Winter, probably depicts the residents at the time as well as the barkeep, at the right in the white apron, and the owner, Frank S. Damskey, with the “Napoleon” pose, third to the left of the barkeep. Other residents can be seen on the two arched porches, the Bridge St. side, on the right with a balcony above, and the other facing Winter St. The building, in the faux Queen Anne style, also has services accessible at the basement level. Two horse-drawn buggies are available, possibly to transport hotel guests.

“During the recent flood the Western Hotel suffered considerable damage through the water that poured into the half basement of the house and upon the first floor. Everything there was practically ruined and F.S. Damskey will shortly begin the work of renovation, which he estimates will approximate $2800. The new basement and first floor will be either brick or cement block and while it will not add greatly to the accommodations the new rooms will be modern. They will consist of the dining room, kitchens, servants’ quarters, storerooms, pantries, toilet room and the barroom.”  Evening Press, April 6, 1904, page 6



Full Details

TitleThe Western Hotel

Frank S. Damskey, in 1890, became proprietor of The Western Hotel at 112 W. Bridge, (500 Bridge after 1912). He had previously been in charge of the Arnold House & Feed & Boarding Stable at 86 W. Bridge. In the late 1940s the building was known as the Bridge St. Hotel. A permit for demolition was issued to the City and Capitol Wrecking in May of 1961 to make room for the new #3 Fire Station, which opened in September of 1966.

The photographs were donated to the Grand Rapids Public Museum by Mary Wagner, courtesy of the Damskey family.

The two photographs from the 1960s are from the Grand Rapids Public Library, Fr. Dennis Morrow Buildings Collection, #273.  

Location In PhotoGrand Rapids, MI
CollectionColl. 84.6

The images were reproduced with permission from the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Photographs may not be reused without permission and must credit the "Collections of the Grand Rapids Public Museum." For rights and reproduction information contact: Grand Rapids Public Museum, Collections Department, 272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504: Phone 616-929-1809.

Reproduction and copyright information regarding the Coll. #273 images is available from Grand Rapids History & Special Collections, Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, MI

InstitutionGrand Rapids Public Museum
Physical Storage LocationGrand Rapids Public Museum Archives
Locationlocation on map

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