Looking back at the Sumter Hotel

South Main Street was the location of a jewel at turn of the century

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 4/1/18

Reflections looks again at Hotel Sumter, which reigned as Sumter's most modern accommodation available to visitors to this community in 1901. Those stockholders who were investing in this project offered several options regarding where this …

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Looking back at the Sumter Hotel

South Main Street was the location of a jewel at turn of the century

Hotel Sumter opened to guests in 1901 and had a lobby, rotundas and reading room at its location on South Main Street.
Hotel Sumter opened to guests in 1901 and had a lobby, rotundas and reading room at its location on South Main Street.
SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTO
Posted

Reflections looks again at Hotel Sumter, which reigned as Sumter's most modern accommodation available to visitors to this community in 1901. Those stockholders who were investing in this project offered several options regarding where this enterprise should be located. The intersection of Main and Dugan streets as well as at the former site of the Jervey House were urged as possible building sites. Research reveals that several sites and methods of finance were discussed before it was decided that South Main (south of the Post Office) would be the preferred location. The information and photos used in this article were taken from The Item archives.

"The stately Hotel Sumter was constructed at a cost of $17,000 on the beautifully shady South Main Street on the former site of the Jervey House. The facility was opened on the 15th of April, 1901, and fulfilled a pressing need for accommodations in Sumter. The hotel was furnished at a cost of $11,000 and is considered one of the most attractive hotels in the state. The building featured 39 rooms, each having a felt mattress, with the majority having brass beds and return-call bells and coal grates placed in nearly all the rooms. The opening was met with such praise that the owners have with the architects plans to add 26 sleeping rooms with a proportionate number of baths."

"The exterior is beautifully painted, and its spacious verandas, which are supported by iconic columns, are lighted by several incandescent lamps. The effect is artistic and attracts much attention. A band was placed on the upper piazza and was noted to have produced a delightful musical program which entertained the numerous visitors. The interior of the building is beautifully wallpapered and is carpeted throughout."

"The spacious lobby, the cozy rotundas and the comfortable cherry reading room with its open fireplace and handsome oak mantle and leather-cushioned easy chairs and lounges, together with the brightness, cleanliness and cheerfulness throughout, make the place especially attractive to tourists as well as much appreciated by the traveling men. The proprietors are catering to these classes. The proprietors are not sparing expense or effort to make the culinary department the very best. The dining room has been built and furnished at large cost and with excellent taste. They have the Jefferson Hotel (Richmond) old chef, and only Western beef from a cold storage plant owned by the hotel people is used. The kitchen is provided with steam tables and broilers; the following bears testimony to the quality of its usual fare: MENU: oyster cocktail; SOUP: mock turtle, aux quinella; FISH: broiled whiting, Matre de Hotel; ROAST: prime rib beef, au jus; BOILED: Virginia sugar-cured ham, smoked tongue with spinach; ENTREES: veal cutlets, breaded tomato sauce, banana fritters, aux cognac; VEGETABLES: mashed potatoes with cream, boiled potatoes, Waukesha green peas, cabbage, turnips, Portorico beans, steamed rice, escalloped tomatoes; DESSERT: Vanilla ice cream, coconut pie, lemon pie, assorted cakes; FRUIT, MIXED NUTS: Roquefort cheese, crackers, milk, French coffee, tea; WINE: sherry and scuppernong."

"The hotel is provided with a modern barber shop. Arrangements are now being made to equip a fine livery stable with modern and stylish vehicles and good driving and saddle horses for the hotel. The proprietors, Messrs. A. Pareira and I. Solomons, are doing an excellent job toward developing Sumter as a winter resort. Mr. Pareira is a well-known traveling man of Albany, New York, having for 13 years traveled the Southern states for the Albany house of Mendleson & Sons. Mr. Solomons is a well-known Sumter businessman."

"The contractor for the project was M. C. Kavanaugh; J. A. Schwerin did the wallpaper, and the plumbing and electrical wiring was completed by R. T. Carr."