The Magnificent Dacotah is to be Opened to the Public Tonight. Event of the Season. The Spacious Dining Hall Will be a Most Brilliant Scene With Its Aggregation of Dancers and Pretty Costumes – President J. J. Hill Will Be Here.
The preparations for the formal opening of the Hotel Dacotah have been simply elaborate and tonight society in its gayest attire will participate in one of the most brilliant functions that Grand Forks has seen this year. The opening of the new hostelry has been looked forward to with much anticipation, not only by the traveling public but by the ladies as well. For weeks most of them have been busily engaged in arranging their gowns and tonight, it is safe to say, the scene within the spacious dining hall will not be anything if not brilliant.
The decorations and floral designs will be simply exquisite, the management of the hotel having been quite lavish in that direction, one of the features being the representation of the battleship Maine, one of the most artistic floral designs, perhaps, that has ever been seen here. Up till a late hour last evening nothing definite as to the time of the arrival of President J. J. Hill had been received, but it is presumed that he will reach here shortly after noon today.
Spreads will be laid for about 125 guests, but should the crowd be large adequate arrangements have been made to care of them all. According to the program, Hall’s full orchestra will play in the lobby of the hotel during the forepart of the evening, and at ten o’clock will lead the grand march to the dining hall, where dancing will be indulged in. Later in the evening, the idea is to have a brief address by J. J. Hill.
The sale of tickets for the affair has been very large and from present indications a large number will come from the outside towns. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, December 20, 1898, Volume 18, Number 42, Page 5)
A GAY AFFAIR
The Formal Opening of the Magnificent New Dacotah Occurs Last Night. Hundreds Were Present. The Brilliantly Illuminated Dining Hall is Thrown Open to the Dancers and All Are Royally Entertained – It was the Biggest Social Function in Years.
Like the traditional Sphynx the magnificent new Hotel Dacotah has arisen from its ashes, and last night for the first time its doors were thrown open to an appreciative public. All of the splendor, brilliancy and gayety of the ball room were there and from early in the evening until the last strains of the orchestra had died away the four hundred guests were treated to one continuous round of pleasure. In the dining hall the effect was brilliant. The hundred or more dancers tripped merrily to the music of Hall’s full orchestra until early in the morning. The floral displays, the illuminations and the handsome gowns of the ladies, arranged especially for the occasion, made the contrast most pleasing.
The program opened with a concert by Hall’s orchestra of twenty pieces, lasting from nine until about 10:30 p. m., during which time the arriving guests were shown about the new hostelry by Messrs. And Mesdames Wood and Bacon. Every courtesy possible was shown them and notwithstanding the immense throngs which fairly packed the building, every guest was made to feel at home. Precisely at 10:30 the orchestra struck up the grand march, almost every person in the assemblage falling into line. It took fully twenty minutes for the throng to reach the dance hall and as long again before all had been seated. The program of dances opened with Prof. Hall’s latest waltz, following which came a two step and the K. P. quadrille. The other numbers included the lancers, waltz, Saratoga lancers, polka, quadrille, two-step, Portland fancy, waltz, ladies’ choice, extra, schottische, quadrille, waltz, home sweet home.
The reception committee consisted of Messrs. and Mesdames Stephen Collins, H. L. Whithed, Geo. B. Clifford, E. C. Carruth, C. L. VanAlstine, W. L. Wilder, F. S. Lycan, T. R. Bangs, F. A. Brown, C. H. Bronson, C. J. Fisk, H. N. Wells.
The floor committee consisted of Col. W. H. Brown, Stephen Collins, W. A. Currie and F. V. Kent.
THE FLORAL DECORATIONS.
The floral decorations were simply exquisite. Within the brilliantly illuminated dining hall was as choice a selection, perhaps, as one would wish to lay eyes upon. Neither pains or expense had been spared and as for the general effect nothing could certainly have been more lavish. The eight chandeliers were tastily trimmed with an abundance of smilax, while potted plants and flowers in profusion added gayety to the general effect. In front of the orchestra, on an easel, rested a most magnificent assortment of carnations, red, white and pink roses and American beauties worked in the monogram “H. D.,” showing the work of an artist. A background of Boston ferns made the effect all the more pleasing, and on either side was a collection of rare plants imported especially for the occasion. The design was four feet long and two and one half feet wide. Along the window casings were an abundance of Kentra and Cyca palms with here and there a bunch of Coca Weidilias intermixed with Boston ferns and smilax.
In the ample rooms to the left, where were served the appetizing refreshments, the effects were none the less brilliant. Over one of the tables was a mirror on which rested a miniature likeness of the battleship Maine. The hull was of carnations interspersed with green, tastily set off with red, white and blue flags. The design was twelve by thirty inches and stood two and one half feet high.
Another pretty design was that of the Bethlehem Star, which hung conspicuously over another of the tables. In it were a selection of red, white and pink roses, carnations, hyacinths, etc. But not less pleasing, perhaps, were the horse shoe and wreath of roses, which won the admiration of all. Nothing could have been more artistic.
The decorations on the second floor consisted principally of red, white and pink roses, with an abundance of carnations and potted plants. They were all furnished by E. O. Lovell, of this city, representing L. L. May & Co., of Minneapolis. Mr. Lovell received many congratulations for the artistic work.
The spread which had been arranged in the sample rooms to the rear included all of the appetizing delicacies that one might wish for, in fact it was one of the choicest that Grand Forks people have enjoyed for some time. The first course was served shortly after 11 o’clock and from that time the guests feasted sumptuously until the last strain of the orchestra had echoed through the spacious dance hall. The bill was as follows: Oysters – Celery, Chicken Consommé in Cups, Salted almonds, Cheese Sticks, Smell Pattie, a la Reine, Sweet Bread, Pique Truffocks, French Peas in Caesar, Champagne Punch, Broiled Quail with Bacon, Flageolets, Fresh Lobster Salad, Neapolitan Ice Cream, Assorted Cake, Bon Bons, Coffee.
HILL NOT THERE.
Contrary to the expectation of Messrs. Bacon and Wood and others interested, President J. J. Hill of the Great Northern road was unable to be present for the opening as he had contemplated. However, the railroad magnate was with them in spirit, as may be seen from him yesterday afternoon: “Messrs. Bacon and Wood, Grand Forks, N. D. I find it will be impossible for me to be with you and your friends at the opening tonight. It is now nearly thirty years since I first saw where Grand Forks is now built, and during that entire time I have always had the fullest confidence in the future of the city. So far Grand Forks has justified everything its friends has claimed for it, and let us hope that this will always be so. I wish you and your enterprise every success. – J. J. Hill”
The new Dacotah, which covers an area of 125×125 feet, is built of red pressed brick with brown stone trimmings, and contains 101 guest rooms or ten more than the first Dacotah. The main entrance to the hotel is through a grand hall twelve feet in width extending sixty feet down through the center of the building. From this hall, which we note, has a mosaic tile floor, are spacious doors leading to the office, dining room, cigar store, sample rooms, etc., also broad stairways leading to the upper floors. Turning to the right and entering the office we find a large room 42×62 feet in area with elegant frescoed ceilings and walls, mosaic floors, antique oak finish, etc. On the south side is a fire place of the richest design and cozy and attractive appearance. A circular settee in the center of the room gives the office a very comfortable and homelike appearance. The clerk’s desk at the east end of the office is a model of convenience. In the rear are the coat rooms, private office, etc. Stained glass windows give a warm and inviting light to the office. The dining room directly in the rear of the office is 42×64 feet in area and is brilliantly lighted. Frescoed ceilings and wall add to its attractiveness, and the service is the best that money could procure. Adjoining the dining room on the north side are the bakery, kitchen store rooms, etc. The kitchen is 40×40 feet, and has the most perfect appointments, and with ample capacity for feeding a thousand guests is necessary. Frank Boyce, who is without an equal as a chef in the west, is in charge here. The store room has separate refrigerators for butter, meat, fish, milk, fruits, etc., all of ample capacity. The wash room is also filled with tile floors, and is a large and well lighted room. The reading and writing room for guests is in the center of the building and is lighted from above, giving the best effects at all hours of the day. A smaller dining room for use at parties, etc., is located on the south side and the helps’ dining room adjoins the kitchen. At the left of the main entrance hall is the cigar store of W. W. Fegan, beyond that the billiard and pool room and still beyond is the barber shop. Large folding doors directly opposite connect the hall, the cigar store, the billiard hall and the barber shop with the office.
On the north side of the building are five large sample rooms for the use of the commercial travelers. An elevator of large capacity near the rear door makes the handling of trunks and sample cases an easy matter. In the basement are located five more sample rooms, several of them of very large size and all well lighted. In the basement are also the provision and vegetable cellars, etc., heating plant, laundry, etc.
The stairway leading to the upper stories are eight feet in width. At the top of the first landing are the ladies’ parlors, fitted with the most elegant of furniture, and carpets, draperies, etc., and a magnificent piano. The house is carpeted throughout with the finest of Axminster velvet and Brussels carpets. The furniture in the guest rooms includes brass bedsteads with hair mattresses in every room, and the latest and most elegant designs in dressers, etc. Many of the rooms are en suite. There are 45 bath rooms, and also general ladies bath room, with complete equipment for various kinds of baths. The building is fitted throughout with electric call bells, etc., and also for both electric lights and gas. The Welchbach gas lights will be used at present. The building is heated by steam and has the latest improvements throughout.
The building and furnishings cost $100,000.
P. McDonald, the Duluth contractor, and wife, were the first to register at the new hostelry. Second upon the list appears the name of Frank Stokes, the genial traveling man. Besides these the following were registered up till a late hour this morning:
P. McDonnell, Duluth; F. F. Stokes, St. Paul; J. E. Skemp, Dubuque; T. S. Edison and wife, Larimore; W. N. Ferguson, New York; Alvin Robertson and wife, Grafton; R. J. Folven, Mekinock; C. O. Sheldahl, Mekinock; Thomas J. Baird, Lakota; T. W. Baird, Lakota; I. P. Germo, Grand Forks; A. J. Gronna, Lakota; A. E. Sheets, Lakota; J. Sercombe, Buxton; J. S. Metcalf, Lakota; Wm. Ely and wife, Grand Forks; F. W. Fritsche, Minneapolis; J. Holzer, Fargo; W. F. Williams, Fargo; C. A. Arime, Minneapolis; E. E. Cole, Fargo; W. J. Pierce, West Superior; Louis Lock, Rock Island; J. E. Bloom, Chicago; A. L. Eidemiller, St. Paul; C. T. Kittridge and wife, Grand Forks; R. D. Newell and wife, Grand Forks; Frank Hansen, Grand Forks; A. M. Lodmell, Mekinock; A. S. Nash, St. Paul; Dr. Horace Clark, Wahpeton; P. H. Kane, Buffalo, S. A. McCanna and wife, McCanna; Wm. Dryburgh, Emerado; E. H. Cashue, Fargo; H. M. Ganns, Minneapolis; W. J. Bissell and wife, Larimore.
HOTEL DACOTAH NOTES.
Hereafter it will not be necessary for knights of the grip to make Crookston their headquarters on account of inadequate hotel accommodations in Grand Forks.
The dress makers reaped a harvest from the opening of the Dacotah.
Chief Clerk Bell managed things with his accustomed grace and ease.
The parlors on the second floor of the hotel have won the admiration of all.
The new Dacotah, although two stories lower than the old one, is more spacious.
Quite a number of Crookston people came over last night to take in the opening.
Bacon and Wood say that the new hotel is to be advertised well all over the state.
Congressman Johnson and daughters were present and enjoyed the reception to a great extent.
Some of the gowns worn by the ladies were the most expensive ever seen at a public gathering in Grand Forks.
Col. Brown was the biggest man in the entire assemblage. He led the grand march and he did it very gracefully too.
An effort will now be made to have the Old Settlers’ meeting at the Dacotah and to have President Hill present for a certainty.
The artistic floral decorations at the hotel last night were arranged by W. L. Wilder. Mr. Wilder received congratulations on all sides for his clever work.
Messrs. Bacon and Wood were two of the busiest men in town last night. They accommodated the four hundred guests nicely and received the heartiest congratulations on all sides.
The city hackmen did a land office business last night. They were kept on the jump from nine o’clock last night until an early hour this morning. One hackman, it is said, who was particularly active, took in $100.
The management of the new hotel have arranged for pretty souvenirs which are to be distributed among the guests at the opening last night. Messrs. Bacon and Wood have not yet announced just what they will be, but that they will be of a pretty and unique design is conceded.
Mrs. C. H. Jenks, wife of Superintendent Jenks, was an interested spectator last evening and was accused by some of her friends as being interested in the location of the fire escape. Mrs. Jenks, as will be remembered, was one of the guests at the hotel when it burned a year ago, and succeeded in escaping by means of the fire escape. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, December 21, 1898, Volume 18, Number 43, Page 5)