Apr 14, 2015 - Sale 2380

Sale 2380 - Lot 238

Price Realized: $ 812
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(TEXAS.) Manuscript guest register of the Capitol Hotel in Houston. 110 pages of signed guest registers, 22 October 1866 to 14 May 1867, plus almost 300 pages of later account book entries, 1870-99. Folio, 16 1/2 x 11 inches, contemporary calf, worn; moderate wear and foxing, a few tears, at least two missing leaves, minor dampstaining. Houston, TX, 1866-99

Additional Details

The Capitol Hotel was located in the former capitol building of the Republic of Texas, and was one of Houston's finer hotels from the 1840s onward. It was re-opened by H. Marple after extensive renovations in 1865, and torn down in 1881. A second Capitol Hotel building stood on the same spot through 1913, and the location is now the Rice Lofts. This register dates from 1866 and 1867, during a somewhat lawless period in the first years of Reconstruction, before Texas was formally readmitted to the Union. The large majority of visitors were from elsewhere in Texas, with very few venturing to Houston from the North or overseas. Army officers visited on occasion (see pages 17 and 18), presumably on Reconstruction business. Among the other notable guests were the Zanfretta Troupe of acrobats on page 43. The register seems to have been originally kept in pencil, with most of the early signatures traced over in contemporary ink, perhaps by the clerk. For most of the guests, the register records their date of arrival, their residence, their room number, their final charges, and sometimes their next destination. Marple signed the last four pages as proprietor.
The volume was later acquired by Houston grocer and dry goods merchant August Proetzel (1817-1885), who made extensive account book entries in German and English on the blank pages through 1899. Provenance: August Proetzel to daughter Margarette Proetzel Kalb (1863-1947); then from the estate of her grandson John Alvis Kalb (1937-2006).