Monday, April 23, 2012

Scott’s American Hotel

In 1865, Voltaire Scott and his father Jacob Scott bought a two story frame hotel on the southwest corner of Water and Wayne Streets. The hotel was originally known as the Steamboat Hotel, and was later known as Verandah Hotel. In the pioneer days of Sandusky, Water Street was the most northern street of the city. Sometimes the waves on Sandusky Bay were so high that they almost touched the entrance to the hotel. The old strap railroad ran right past the hotel. According to the advertisement pictured above, from the 1874 Sandusky City Directory, guests could request a feather bed, and the table was “always supplied with the best the market affords.” When Jacob Scott moved to Wisconsin in 1876, Voltaire Scott took over as proprietor of Scott’s American Hotel. An advertisement which appeared in the 1878 Sandusky City Directory stated that “Strangers and the public will find Scott’s American a pleasant home, every comfort and accommodation extended to all its patrons.”

Voltaire Scott established a park across the street from his hotel. In 1895 he installed the “Boy with the Boot” statue, along with statues of dolphins and maidens. In the evening hours, colored lights illuminated the park. The electricity was controlled by a switch in the hotel.

Mr. Scott willed the contents of his park to the city of Sandusky, along with funds to maintain it. The tornado of 1924 severely damaged Scott Park, and the statues were stored at the city greenhouse. In 1935, the “Boy with the Boot” was given a new home in Washington Park. After being damaged by vandals, the statue in Washington Park was replaced by an identical one made of bronze. The damaged statue was repaired, and is now on display at the City Hall building on Meigs street.

The hotel at the corner of Wayne and Water Streets had several different owners after Voltaire Scott’s death in 1899. The building was razed in 1923. An interesting story from the January 12, 1911 issue of the Toledo Blade reported that in 1911 a plumber who was working at the former Scott’s American Hotel found $1,300 in currency in the basement of the building. The article reported that Voltaire Scott did not have much faith in banks, so he kept his money in an old vegetable can in the basement. Eventually the money was turned over to descendants of Voltaire Scott living in Michigan at that time. Ironically, the property at the southwest corner of Wayne and Water Streets is now home to the Citizens Banking Company.

1 comment:

fluffy said...

The information is slightly incorrect. The Scotts gave the park to the city after its completion. Mr Scott was still alive at the time. Upon the death of Mrs. Scott, money was willed to the city for the maintance of the park. Info sources are Sandusky Register Issues.