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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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FAMILY BOARDING HOUSES. Known more often as house than hotel, boarding houses existed primarily in the downtown area with some near the edges of town. They were established primarily for the people who considered Dubuque to be a trading center. While they served the farm families who came to town, these establishments also served workers and travelers. A necessary part of these "guest houses" was a stable where horses could receive food and shelter. At their peak, there were an estimated thirty of these businesses in the city. The development of the automobile brought an end to many of these establishments.

The "Deutsches Gasthaus"--German Guesthouse and later the WESTERN HOTEL was one of the popular houses along lower Clay Street (Central Avenue) once known as Luxemburg Avenue. While serving anyone, the staff were generally from Germany or Luxemburg and served people of the same ancestry. Guesthouses which catered to the Irish were established in the area of town known as "Dublin." Some guesthouses had no national affiliation at all.

Located at Jones and Main STREETS was Coffe's House and south of First Street on the east side of Main was the BENNETT HOUSE which became the Huff House. South of First Street along Locust was the Regan House. On First Street between Main and Locust were the Chicago House and the MONTANA HOUSE. South of Second Street on the east side of Locust Street was the CASCADE HOUSE with its stable on the other side of Locust Street. The PACIFIC HOUSE was located at First Street and the railroad tracks.

Also located in the downtown area was the DUBUQUE HOUSE at Fourth and Iowa and the AMERICAN HOUSE a block east. Moving north from Fourth Street were the MINNESOTA HOUSE, WINONA HOUSE, ST. GEORGE HOTEL, NEW JEFFERSON HOUSE, WESTERN HOUSE, and the ALTMAN HOUSE. At 7th Street and White was the JEFFERSON HOUSE. The FULLER HOUSE, located at 10th and Central, was originally known as Berlinerhoff and across the street was the HARMONY HALL HOTEL. The GREAT WESTERN HOTEL was located at 10th and Jackson and along Jackson between 12th and 13th was the Lochner Hotel.



"Old-Fashioned Family Boarding Houses Were Popular," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, April 9, 1933, p. 9