• There is a calendar above each of the three secretary desks, all indicating that the picture was taken in August of 1920. This one says "IOWA STATE TRAVELING MEN'S ASS'N" on the top of it. Nothing else is clearly legible in the photo.
  • It's around 10:16. My guess is AM.
  • These are not dog bowls scattered around the floor. They appear to be spittoons.
  • This little daily calendar gives us our date. August 2nd, 1920.
  • This is a cigar case. According to the writing on the glass, they are Union Made. Here's where it gets a little weird for me...The brand of cigar is "7-20-4 Cigars," made in Manchester, NH back in the early half of the 1900s. Manchester, NH is the town next to my hometown of Londonderry, NH.
  • Another calendar from 1920. This one is advertising Union Made Cigars.
  • Another 1920 calendar. It's hard to make out any of the writing on this one, but the bottom looks like "Thomas & ? Drug Store." I can't be sure about Thomas or the &, but I'm fairly confident.
  • The sign behind the front desk reads: "On account of the HOL the management of this hotel is compelled to raise the rates to $3.00-$3.50-&4.00 per day. I have no idea what the "HOL" is.
  • A white haired older man, probably in his fifties or sixties. He has a pipe in his mouth and he is wearing small round glasses. The guest registry appears to be opened in front of him.
  • A thirty to forty year old man. He is not handsome, by any means. He looks very weathered and working class. I assume he is also an employee of the hotel.

Mystery Hotel

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Can anyone identify this hotel?

Otherdave, badlydrawnmolly, and 1 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. wendymay 109 months ago | reply

    on account of the holiday...

  2. candyaddict.com 109 months ago | reply

    I can't identify it, but it's fun to see the steps you have taken to investigate :)


  3. WilWheaton 109 months ago | reply

    HOL could be "Hotel Occupancy Levy."

  4. ballookey 109 months ago | reply

    Can you scan this at any higher resolution? I need to get a good look at the wall calendars (not that I don't trust your reading of it... ;)

  5. LotusMonger 109 months ago | reply

    i think i see a reflection of an exotic dancer/android taking a bath...

    sorry, couldn't resist

  6. donnieburgess 109 months ago | reply

    Forget what hotel it is, all I want to know is what that six foot tall shelf thingy next to the staircase is. There is one of those things in the basement where I work.

    Come to think of it, were that a mirror image and not a photo the layout would look just like the basement where I work. Which, oddly, was a general store in the 1880's and converted into a hotel in the early 1900's.

    Also, I would guess that this location also served as a passenger train depot. 'Cause there is just no way that I am going to believe that any hotel would have that many secretaries who all chewed tobacco. Not to mention the fact that the chairs are all wicker and hardwood which wouldn't seem all that inviting in a normal hotel lobby.

  7. CAnderson [deleted] 109 months ago | reply

    Not sure why, but it sure as hell makes me want to play Call of Cthulhu.

  8. ngtmagicks 109 months ago | reply

    Very cool photo, love the sepia tones of those when it was natural.

  9. murgadroid13 109 months ago | reply

    I think that rack over by the stairs is for holding newspapers. Our old library had one - the horizontal bars were split bamboo and the newspaper was threaded on lengthwise. The vertical pipes along the right wall might be steam for a radiator by the floor? If so, that would place the hotel more northerly. Could it be the main lobby or a reading room in a library?

  10. heivilinj 109 months ago | reply

    "Excellent. Now that we're set up the victi...er, customers should be here soon. Then my Lord can begin his ritual and the ascendency of the Great One will begin."

    Of course it's a Cthulhu setting. Ever see the film "Dagon"?

  11. ericskiff 109 months ago | reply

    This looks more like a boys-school (juvie?) dorm than a hotel. With the "don't jump over the railing" bars on the stairs, the desks at the wall, and the utilitarian feel, I don't get the feeling that this is exactly a consumer friendly operation.

  12. mrwaterslide 5 weeks ago | reply

    i think it's The Hotel California.

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