Estey Wagon Passing By
J. B. Beers Atlas 1876
On Monday last the new hotel - Brattleboro House - was thrown open to the public for the accommodation of guests, and we do not believe there is a better arranged, more convenient or more pleasantly situated hotel in the State. Our citizens are already aware of the former use to which the building was put, and without doubt are somewhat surprised that it could have been so remodeled as to make the elegant establishment it has.
Fronting Main-st., so as to command an almost unobstructed view nearly its whole length, it gives it an advantage at once which cannot but be appreciated. On the east the windings of Connecticut River are over looked, its clear waters shadowing Wantastiquet, which towers up beyond, its rugged sides now brilliant with the gorgeous hues of many tinted Autumn leaves, forming a scene of grandeur and beauty scarce ever equalled and never excelled. The west side gives a view of Canal-st., and the rolling slopes beyond the limits of the corporation, forming a picture which would excite in the breast of an artist wonder and admiration. In short, not an unpleasant view can be obtained from either side, a fact not always applicable to hotels, but which, however, is greatly to be desired.
The interior does not mar the beautiful surroundings, for every convenience which heart could desire has been placed within the reach of the guests. The entrance from Main-st., is by a broad stair-way and easy flight of stairs, opening into a spacious hall which on the left expands into the office and reading-room off from which and immediately over the stairs is the barber shop, a perfect little bijou of a place, fitted up with elegance and stocked with all the latest and best articles for the gentleman's toilet. A magnificent chair with adjustable head and foot rests, upholstered with green plush, the very perfection of ease and comfort, invites to its capacious arms, and George Webber, a tonsorial artist of acknowledged excellence is ready to wait upon all who may desire his services.
The office is presided over by Mr. Richard D. Brown, for 17 years an employee of the Connecticut River R. R., well known to a large class of the traveling community, a gentleman of affable manners and accommodating disposition, qualities which fit him particularly for the position he occupies. The office which is also the reading room, is light and pleasant, with doors opening on to the verandah which extends entirely across the front and east side of the house, furnished with easy arm chairs and tables for writing.
Back of the bar is the headquarters of the telegraph, which communicates with every room in the house, the steam guage which indicates the heat and amount of steam in the boiler, a series of speaking tubes communicating with the halls and bar-room below, a dummy for the transfer of articles to and from the bar-room, a cloak-room and large safe complete with the arrangements of this department. The gentlemen's wash-room, with marble basins and large full length mirror is just back of the office with an entrance from the reading-room. Beyond the office towards the rear of the house are two fine sample rooms for the accommodation of traveling salesmen, arranged with special reference to light, and being easy of access for customers.
At the end of the hall is an entrance from Canal-st. At the head of the front stairway and at the foot of the flight from the second floor, is the entrance to the dining-room from the main hall. A short hall running west from the office terminates in a ladies' wash and toilet room, being convenient to the double parlors which are on the front, opening into the hall last mentioned, and directly opposite the entrance to the parlor is another entrance to the dining-room. The parlors are each furnished very tastefully and with a view to the comfort of guests who may not stay long enough to require a private room.
The dining-room will accommodate 100 guests at one time, and is furnished with all the modern improvements. The carver's table is supplied with chafing dishes for each kind of meat which is kept warm by steam pipes underneath, and when these are not running - during warm weather - by a small furnace expressly for that purpose. The kitchen is in the L, which extends up Canal-st., and is furnished with large sinks, for washing dishes and preparing vegetables, supplied
with hot and cold water, and the cooking, baking, and heating the house by steam, is all done by one of Bramhall's large ranges, which when under full pressure looks like the furnaces of a first-class Mississippi Steamer. Back of the range is a stairway leading into the laundry where every convenience for washing, drying and ironing is supplied. Still beyond the stairway is the pastry closet, containing shelves and cupboards in abundance. This department of the house is under the skillful management of Polly Allen, who has the experience of years in catering to the wants of the hungry. Over the kitchen are the rooms for the servants, all furnished tastefully, with one large room designed as a sitting and serving-room when they are at liberty to receive calls. Ascending the flight of stairs from the office you enter a good wide hall which extends entirely around the house, the different rooms opening out of it, the center being devoted to a gents' bath-room on one side and a ladies' bath-room on the other, each supplied with hot and cold water; the water-closets are also in the center space.
The rooms on either side in this story and also the story above are divided into suites, to be used single or together as the parties occupying may desire. Each and every room is tastefully furnished with full bed-room sets, mostly of chestnut with black walnut trimmings, although several of the larger ones are furnished with elegant walnut sets with marble-top stands and dressing bureaus. The whole house is heated with steam and generously supplied with gas-burners. In the attic two immense water-tanks are kept constantly filled with water supplied by the old Wesselhoeft springs and raised to the tank by a hydraulic ram. These are so arranged that at a moment's notice a stream of water may be conveyed to any portion of the building in case of fire, sufficient hose being kept convenient for that purpose. Water for general use in the house is also conveyed by lead pipes to different parts.
The basement of the main building contains the bar and billiard-room, the last mentioned furnished with two of Phelan & Collender's best tables, one a four pocket the other a carom table, with all the necessary equipments for the full enjoyment of this the king of all games. This department is presided over by John White, who has the faculty of pleasing his customers and keeping things in a neat and inviting condition.
Henry A. Potter, a man of experience in that line, is the porter, and will always be found at the depot on the arrival of trains to take charge of baggage and conduct guests to its hospitable portals, without extra charge, where they will be received by Mr. I. L. Sargeant, the gentlemanly host, with a cordial greeting, who will straightway make them feel at home and that their lives have fallen in a pleasant place.
We are proud of our hotels generally, and in chronicling this addition we do not wish to be understood as desiring to detract from the merit of any other, and we say as heretofore that there is not a town in the State can boast of better, take them altogether, nor a finer set of gentlemen for landlords, and we believe the traveling community will bear us out in the assertion.
Vermont Record and Farmer, September 23, 1870.
Frank B. Cobleigh, Editor.
Isaac L. Sargent was the proprietor of the new Brattleboro House. For years Isaac Sargent had conducted his Eating Saloon north from Hall's Long Building, with his sign "Meals At All Hours".
Sargent's large initial expenditures on the hotel soon proved insurmountable, and caught by a fatal consumption, he was forced to return the building to Jacob Estey, who had constructed it during February-March 1864 as a melodeon factory.
The steam heat and lead pipes in the rooms were characteristic Estey design.