|MONTCALM COUNTY MICHIGAN
Submitted by Judy Hardy
|From the Stanton Weekly Clipper, Friday, April 16, 1886, pages 1 and 4.
P.S. Dodge, Editor and Proprietor
THE BAILEY HOUSE
A Good Hotel – Its Accommodations
America is peculiarly a land of travelers. Her intricate network of railroad lines her river packets, and the innumerable vehicles constantly in motion, all go to show that one of the ruling traits of the American character is locomotion. Still people must rest at times, and when away from home nothing is so cheering as a first class hotel. Out in the world jostled among strangers, the traveler learns how to appreciate that careful attention and hospitality which characterized the natural host calls up home influences, and sheds contentment upon his soul although he is a stranger in a strange land. We doubt if any one who is posted on the subject when we say that the Bailey House,
The Bailey house was built in 1865 by Alexander Vinecore and by him conducted for some time when it passed into different hands until Herb Bailey purchased and built a third story. Three years ago the late B.F. Littlefield became proprietor, and under his judicious management its custom steady increased and it is now known as one of the most excellent hotels on the road. Since Mr. Littlefield’s death, last winter, Mrs. Littlefield has assumed control of it, and it is needless to say that the house has been kept fully up to its high standard of excellence, which is largely due to the management of Mr. Matherson, who for about 2 ½ years previous to Mr. Littlefield’s death was clerk in the hotel.
The Bailey House contains 40 rooms, and there are three large sample rooms on the first floor. The dining room is commodious, and will accommodate 75 guests at a sitting. The tables are spread with fine linen and the silver and tableware is attractively arranged, and polite waiters attend to the wants of guests, while a bill of fare includes all the substantials and delicacies of the season to which has been added the skill of good cookery.
THE SLEEPING ROOMS
are light airy and well furnished, and provided with soft mattresses, and snowy linen. In fact the beds throughout the house are all excellent, which is indeed inviting to a tired traveler.
A feature that is at once noticeable is the cleanliness and systematic order which prevails throughout the house, from kitchen to sleeping rooms. The attention of waiters is also another commendable feature. The management of the house spares no pains or expense whereby they can add to the comfort and happiness of guest, and one feels “at home” while sojourning there. The house has telephone connection with other towns, and there is a good stable in close proximity, while a free buss is run to and from all trains. We cordially recommend the Bailey House to those of our readers who visit Stanton whether on business or pleasure, feeling confident that they will find it every element of comfort, convenience and economy.
From the Stanton Weekly Clipper, Friday, February 23, 1894
AN OLD LANDMARK GONE.
The Results of An All-night Fire – The Bailey Houses in Ashes
The alarm of fire was given about seven o’clock on Thursday evening of last week and the occasion of it proved unexpectedly serious. The fire was soon located in the north-west corner of the Bailey House in a room on the fourth floor. Those first on the ground agree that it originated from a chimney burning out. The fire department was soon on hand and but for a busted hose would have soon extinguished the flames but as it was the entire building burned to the ground. Most of the contents also burned. The fire, owing to the sheetiron roof and great number of small rooms, spread very slowly and the same cause made it proof against the efforts of the firemen who worked heroically until it was evident that the building could not be saved, and then they conserved the water supply and looked after surrounding property. At the very start an accident lost them the fight. Five of the firemen had made their way with one hose to the fourth floor corner, where the fire started, and had put out the fire in one room and just broken through into the next and commenced throwing water on the fire there, when the other hose burst and the water was shut off for repairs. The cause of failure of the water to come to them was unknown to them, their locality was rapidly filling with smoke and flames and still they could get no water and were forced to look to their own safety, some of them nearly suffocated. Two of them made their escape by the halls and stairs but three of them dropped from the windows. They all escaped without injury except Harry Tisdale, who ran a piece of broken glass through his foot and is now laid up from its effects. They of course left the hose where it was. Its course inside the building (up stairs, through halls and doors) was so tortuous that the men were unable to pull it out from below and were therefore forced to cut it off and leave part of the hose and nozzle within the building to burn. By the time a new nozzle was secured and gotten in place and the break in the first hose repaired the fire was well advance under the roof where it was safe from all efforts to get water upon it. Its progress was slow but sure, room and room and story after story reluctantly melted away. It was fully eight hours from start to finish and for over three hours two full streams played on the fire until the building was saturated and the water stood a foot or two deep on the basement floor, but water wouldn’t save it.
The loss was about $6,500, insurance about $5,200.
The Bailey House was first built by A. Vinecore in 1866, and was enlarged and improved by H.L. Bailey, the fourth story being completed about 15 years ago. It was built when timber was plentiful – the timber to build it was cut on the ground now covered by the ruins – and was a heavy timber frame throughout. Every door and window post was a 6x10 timber from which the character of the frame can be judged. This, the sheetiron roof, large number of small rooms and the absence of wind all conspired to prolong the fire and reduce to a minimum the danger to other property.
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