Wayzata, Minnesota

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sepia-Saturday Not A Bearded Ghost in the House

Or is there? 

The Potter Palmer Mansion at 1350 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, could have been a hotel.  Built in 1882 - 1885 towered greatly until it was demolished in 1950.  Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress, Washington D.C. Prints

The very successful Potter Palmer had an elegant hotel in his thoughts, and it became a reality.

Rumor has it, the hotel below is filled with stories and secrets, essentially built for tired souls to rest, it brings forth the question, is it haunted?

Or, are they simply, drumming up business?


Was That a  BEARDED GHOST We Saw at the HOTEL?

No, just Potter Palmer, the man who gave the business district of Chicago, the elegantly designed hotel,

           "The Palmer House"

Why do long and established places of business, particularly restaurants and hotels eventually end up on the 10 Most Haunted Places list?

Like, The Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, which originally opened in 1871, is now owned by the Hilton chain today.
      Legends say, the Palmer House Hotel has lots of orbs and sounds, if you believe in ghosts.

A view from inside The Palmer House.  The corner of State and Monroe Streets have seen three Palmer hotels.  The first hotel which opened on the 26th of September 1871, was built by Potter Palmer and given to his new bride, Bertha Honore' of Louisville, Kentucky as a wedding present.

Thirteen days after their wedding on the 9th of October 1871 the "Great Chicago Fire" destroyed the Palmer Hotel.  Potter Palmer immediately constructed a new hotel with architect John M. Van Osdel and the second Palmer House Hotel complete with 7 stories was opened. The third hotel was rebuilt with an ever growing Chicago and featured 25 stories.  In 1945 it was purchased by Conrad Hilton for 20 million.

Heading to the southern regions of America, the ghosts keep showing up there too.


The Postcard reads, "The Oldest French Restaurant in New Orleans In the Heart of the Vieux Carre' Roy L. Alciatore, Prop."

Last on my list of hungry ghost stories has to do with an inn for seafarers and became a rendezvous for thirsty pirates and sailors from the Seven Seas, in the beginning.  Situated in Savannah, Georgia, (one of my most favorite southern places to visit) and The Pirates House, located on Broad Street and this photo (as well as the two that follow it) were taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston about 1939.  The building dates back to ca. 1790.

Today The Pirates House features 15 separate and distinct dining rooms for your dining pleasures (and their food is exceptional)

Pirates House dining

Of course this isn't how the Pirate's House Restaurant appears today.  Who would care to dine here if it did?  But honestly if it's really a haunted place shouldn't it look something a bit more like this?

Perhaps it's silly, but isn't there something a bit more magical and interesting when it has to do with ghosts and delicious dishes from the south, rather than scruffy old beards?

If you didn't notice, our theme is featured from "Mrs. Marvel (her blog is a marvel too) from her blog, Who were they?" (The secret is, she has a hairy story to tell on her blog.)

A special note, Potter Palmer did sport a beard.

If you want to play along with Sepia Saturday or just search through other Sepia posts please
go here


noexcuses said...

I love to read about haunted places! The Palmer place is very intriguing. Great pictures and research!

viridian said...

I've been to the Palmer House for a drink at the bar. Didn't know about the ghosts!

Kristin said...

awww, I'm disappointed to learn that the Pirate's House no longer looks like this as I was already planning to look it up on my next trip to Savannah.

barbara and nancy said...

Our grandma used to take us to the Palmer house. I remember it well. She used to hang out there - she'd sit in the lobby and write letters on their stationery. I doubt if she ever spent a penny on her own stationery. What a character she was.

Karen S. said...

Kristin I know what you mean, but we've been on several ghost tours there that do have buildings much like that. The book tour for The Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was very exciting. The whole town is an adventure, and the food we had at the Pirates House was absolutely worth our visit.

Karen S. said...

Barbara and Nancy, your grandmother sounds lovely (and much like one of mine) and that hotel is very worth visiting even if just for the day. I really wish the Palmer Mansion would still be alive today. What a place that was.

Rob From Amersfoort said...

I looked at the Pirate's House using Google street view; at least the veranda is still there. I couldn't spot the anchor though. Why would anybody want to demolish the Potter Palmer Mansion, it looked great, a real landmark.

Bob Scotney said...

I'm always interested in ghost stories like this. The Palmer Mansions were impressive places. (Better than modern day Hiltons!)

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

I enjoy the ghost stuff, and you have given us some really neat places to look at. That hotel is so beautiful, and now I want to go to the weathered restaurant's website and see how they have tricked it out.

Wonder post!

Kathy M.

Wendy said...

What a wonderful selection of haunted places (I love Savannah too!). I appreciate how you tied it to the theme even without photo evidence. Good job!

Mike Brubaker said...

I used to drive past the Pirate's House in Savannah nearly every day! A bit too tourist tacky now. There are several ghostly places in Savannah, including a Dresser=Palmer House, now a bed and breakfast.

Little Nell said...

Well, if nothing else, these haunted places got great publicity from the ghost stories. I was hoping to see a shadowy bearded image at one of the windows, but no such luck! A very different take on the theme Karen.


The Palmer House interiors look simply grand, and as long as ghosts are not in charge of room service, I'd be fine with it.

Anonymous said...

Your ghosts, buildings and the thought of delicious food makes a welcome change from facial hair this week :-) Jo

Tattered and Lost said...

I did a post a few years ago featuring an old Camel cigarette ad that showed a woman who was married to Potter Palmer's son. The piece evolved into so much more than that and eventually I was contacted by the granddaughter of the younger Palmer's ex-wife (his first ex-wife) and her son. The web is indeed haunted just like your wonderful post.

Karen S. said...

tattered and lost now you know I'll have to check out that interesting sound post of yours!

Karen S. said...

Imagespast - Thanks, I too just couldn't really get into all that hair and bearded glory this time around! But I do like to honor who ever Alan has turned his theme over to!

Joy said...

The first one would be the ideal residence for a ghost, they seem to prefer the upper storeys, and a tower, well that would be ideal. What a pity it was demolished.
The 15 dining rooms concept is a new one on me, wow.

tony said...

I Wonder If A Ghost's Beard Carries On Growing?????

Karen S. said...

Tony, that is a question worth finding out!

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