Taking a fond look back at Quincy's Newcomb Hotel
Tue, 10 Sep 2013 23:01:30 GMT —
Construction crews worked another day at knocking down a piece of Quincy history.
As the demolition of the Newcomb Hotel continues following the massive fire on Friday, September 6, 2013, people are emerging with tid bits of history that they shared with the hotel.
The loss of this grand lady of Quincy's history has stirred up memories for many people around the area.
One of those people is Lillian Cate of Camp Point who lived in the Newcomb in the 1940s.
"In 1946 I came to live at the Newcomb Hotel and there were seven of us girls that lived there at that time up on the 5th floor. It was 505. It was on the corner overlooking the the park and the Lincoln Douglas hotel," Cate remembered.
It was also at the Newcomb where Lillian met a young man just back from the war named Dick Cate.
"I met my husband the first night I was there and we started going together. And we were married in October and I left there then and moved out here to the farm," she said.
In 1987, Quincian Judith Taylor was hired to manage the building during its initial attempt at renovation.
The loss of the Newcomb has also touched her.
"I was really sad because I was really hoping to see it restored. I knew every inch of that building," Taylor said.
But thanks to Judith's love of history and preservation some very interesting pieces of the building's history are still with us. Some have become a part of her home like a coat rack and umbrella stand.
The marble from her kitchen counter top came from the Newcomb and so did a mailbox that still has the room number plates on it.
She also has a large collection of photos like one from outside the building and one of the all wood Continental bar and some beautiful marble tile floors.
Judith has also preserved some other special pieces from the Newcomb's history like a hand towel and pillow case. Or how about a red globe that hung over the exit lights in the building.
But probably one of the most interesting items is a souvenir scarf from the 1888 presidential campaign stop of Benjamin Harrison.
Judith says Quincy has lost a very important part of its history.
"It is sad because everybody ... it was a landmark because everybody coming into Quincy, everybody going to 4th street, everybody saw that building," Taylor said.
Quincy historian Dr. Patrick McGinley says it's important the we preserve the stories and the memorabilia from this icon of Quincy history.
"It's so nice to have all kinds of history so that people that come down after us will know what there city was like, how people lived back then and the sacrifices they had to make," Dr. McGinley said.
The demolition is expected to continue throughout the week.