Dacotah Hotel 1 Grand Opening

BANQUET TONIGHT.  The banquet to be given this evening by the Hotel Dacotah company to the proprietor, Col. C. H. French, will be the most notable event in the history of Grand Forks society.  Nearly three hundred invited guests have signified their intentions of being present.  Eloquent speakers from abroad, together with a generous representation of local oratory, will enliven the occasion, with a feast of reason and flow of soul.  Responses to toasts will be made by ex-Gov. Pierce, Hon. John Miller, Hon. James Dickey, Hon. H. C. Hansbrough, Gen. Harrison Allen, Judge A. W. Bangs, Col. W. C. Plummer, Hon. W. C. J. Kenyon and many others.  The grand ball following the banquet will fairly eclipse any previous society event.  In short the brilliant occasion will auspiciously inaugurate the Dacotah enterprise, and will appropriately commemorate the triumphant accomplishment of the grandest undertaking ever projected by the citizens of Grand Forks.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Monday Evening, September 16, 1889, Volume XV, Number 269, Page 4)

Page 4


Grand Ball and Banquet Inaugurate the Opening of Hotel Dacotah.  Elaborate Menu Followed by Toasts Proposed and Eloquent Responses.  Detailed mention of the Elegant Toilets Worn by the Lovely Fair.  Those who Participated in the Grand March – History of the Enterprise.  The Dacotah Opened.  The Most Notable Society Event in The City’s History.

A brilliant affair was the ball and banquet at the hotel Dacotah.  The magnificent hostelry was in readiness for the reception of guests for whom an elaborate entertainment was in waiting.  The company began to assemble at an early hour, the number constantly increasing until the parlors, reception rooms, corridors, and stair cases were everywhere thronged with guests.  The rich decorations of the lofty ceilings, brilliantly illuminated by the elegant chandeliers, looked down upon a scene of brilliancy no less dazzling than the stream of light pouring down from above.  For two hours, previous to the opening of the doors of the banquet room, the gay company were privileged to inspect the building and admire its beauties.

In design, in capacity and in elegance of finish, the fine appointments of the magnificent structure far surpassed the expectations of those who had not previously entered its portals.  The refinement of taste and triumph of decorative art apparent on every side, elicited the most enthusiastic admiration.  The heavy and rich ornamentations and the elegant furnishings, filled the heart of every visitor with delight.  Everyone admired and everyone praised.  During this interval, sweet music was discoursed by Hall’s orchestra, stationed at the entrance of the banquet room.  Animated conversation and the joys of social reunions enlivened the occasion and the moments sped happily away until all things were in readiness and the massive doors were thrown open to the waiting guests.  The utmost capacity of the large apartment was utilized, the tables being arranged as closely as possible.  Seats as the festive board were taken informally, guests arranging themselves as convenience or pleasure dictated.  At the proper moment, Col. French spoke the word and absolute silence pervaded the assemblage.  Judge Jno. M. Cochrane, who was to preside as toast master, announced Rev. A. H. Burns, of Chicago, who offered prayer.  An efficient retinue of waiters were in attendance, by whom the rich viands were served in successive courses.


The elaborate menu consisted of courses of the most refined and epicurean dishes, fairly outrivaling anything heretofore attempted in the northwest.  The menu card was of tasteful design and elegance, illustrated by pictured scenes drawn from the great poem, the Hiawatha of Longfellow.  A fine engraving of the hotel appeared on the cover with the lines inscribed beneath, “Very spacious was the wigwam.”


We sit within Dacotah’s walls,
And drink her laughing wine,
We part with song of kindly cheer,
For the days of “Auld Lang Syne.”


It was past two o’clock when the banquet hall was cleared and the floor pre-

Page 5
pared for dancing.  Hall’s orchestra, which had discoursed sweet music continuously throughout the evening, sounded the grand march summoning the dancers from the parlors where they had spent the intermission.  It was a brilliant spectacle, the rich toilets of the ladies blending finely with the full evening dress of their escorts, and Maj. Durent called the figures.  The closing number was the signal for drawing the festivities to a close.  Every guest departed with the utmost satisfaction with the magnificent entertainment afforded by the hotel management, and with wishes of long life and happiness to the genial host of the house, Col. J. H. French.

Brief Biographical Notice of the Dacotah Management.

The proprietor of the new house no longer needs introduction to our people to whom he has already deeply attached himself by his genial courtesy.  He is essentially a hotel manager, and the man for whom the company looked a good while.  His experience in hotel management is extensive, having been located at Marblehead, Mass., at Newport, Vt. (Memphremagog), at Boston, at Portland, and at Estes Park, Colo.  Col. French is the veteran in educational work, having entered thereon while pursuing his college course.  He has been engaged successively at Rumford, Me., at Kingston, N. H., at Storeham, Va., and at Russell, Kansas, having also found time for much original literary work.


Grand Forks has drawn on Fargo, her Sister City, for the chief clerk of the Dacotah, in the person of George M. Bliss, recently of the Headquarters, where he has formed the acquaintance of many of our citizens.  He is thoroughly experienced and a great acquisition to the management.  His hotel career began as a bell boy at eight years of age, and has been continuous, including experience in St. Louis, Chicago, St. Paul and Fargo.


This gentleman had charge of the wine room, and has had years of experience in the same employment, at Revere Beach, at Isle of Shoals, at Jacksonville, Fla., and at Tremont House, Boston.  To accept his present position he relinquished a situation at the Arcade, Chicago.  His assistants are Messrs. N. Young and C. A. Perkins.


It was a disappointment to all last evening that they were not permitted to see the hostess, Mrs. Stockbridge, who pleasing features the HERALD presents to its readers today.  Mrs. Stockbridge is accomplished in her art and will preside over the Dacotah family will that grace that she has acquired in long experience in the same capacity at Duluth and Superior, Wis.

Gustave M. Calvey, is the steward, who has just severed his connection with a restaurant company on the Santa Fe road where he was established for many years.  Mr. Calvey was formerly located in Michigan.

Louis Tili, the French cook, comes direct from Paris to enter the employ of Col. French, although he has had extensive experience elsewhere, at Hotel Brighton, London and at Philadelphia some years ago.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Evening, September 17, 1889, Volume XV, Number 270, Page 4)


Share Button