|In our shop! Here|
Which got us thinking about the Maxwell House Hotel, so we decided to do a little digging. Maxwell House coffee, not surprisingly, was named after the Nashville hotel where it was first served. Built in the mid-1800s, the hotel cost half a million dollars (which is a serious chunk o' change for that time period). It had a colorful history, being used as a hospital, prison, and military housing during the Civil War. In April of 1867, the hotel played host to some other infamous guests:
|Early Ku Klux Klan gear; From here|
In fact, this was the first official national meeting of the KKK, and marked the beginning of the group's transition to political terrorism. Maxwell House coffee wasn't introduced to the hotel until 25 years later, so imagine a gathering of angry, politically passionate, un-caffeinated men....
|Maxwell House Hotel, 1925; nashvillepastandpresent.blogspot.com|
The hotel itself, once finished, was the height of Nashville luxury. The building's five floors held a total of 240 rooms, renting at $4 per day (including food!), and featuring gas lighting, steam heat, and a bathing room for each floor. There was a restaurant downstairs (which would later have awesome coasters!), as well as a fancy mahogany and gilt lobby, separate ladies' and gentlemen's sitting rooms, a jewelry store (Calhoun's Jewelers) and the big Bs: Barbers, Bars, and a Ballroom.
|Maxwell House Hotel ballroom; nashvillepastandpresent.blogspot.com|
|Interior, Maxwell House Hotel; nashvillepastandpresent.blogspot.com|
|March 6, 1879, "Yesterday's Arrivals"; From Here|
Sadly, the hotel caught fire on Christmas in 1961 and was destroyed. I found a blog about the hotel fire that even includes a link to 8mm footage of the fire. If you want to see it, go here and scroll to the link at the end of the 3rd paragraph. The film owner granted permission to that blogger to post the footage, so I don't feel comfortable re-posting it here. It is in color, and shows the firefighters at work. The blog also features comments from Nashville residents who remember the fire when it happened, so if you're interested, just scroll to the bottom of the post.
Bad news for the hotel, but the good news for us is that we know that our coasters are 1961 or earlier. Memorabilia from the hotel is not easy to find, but here are a couple of items that I found online:
|Hotel stationery from 1907; ebay|
|Post card; ebay|
*Information obtained from: Wikipedia, tennesseeencyclopedia.net, and nashvillepastandpresent.blogspot.com