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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.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Seen in the foreground, the Lorimier House existed until 1917. The DUBUQUE CUSTOM HOUSE AND POST OFFICE is seen across the street and the tower of First Congregational Church is observed to the left. Photo courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/groups/45737582684/
LORIMIER HOUSE. The Lorimier House was constructed by Peter LORIMIER in 1857. The building was still considered the largest hotel in the city in 1871. (1)

The 1865 through 1875-1876 Dubuque City Directory stated that this business was located at the northeast corner of 8th and Bluff.

This view of Washington Park shows the large Lorimier House in the background at the right. Photo courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/groups/45737582684/
In 1874 George Barnard, the brother of Mr. William Barnard who owned a half interest in the hotel with Mr. William K. De Lorimier, purchased Lorimier's interest. The firm that then owned the hotel was Barnard & Barnard. (2) Renovations took place including the removal of dividing walls on the first floor to create an office, reading rood and hallway. (3) De Lorimier and his wife were presented with a silver water service by some of their former guests. (4)

In August 1876 William L. BRADLEY, Sr. purchased the hotel for $27,500. The Barnard brothers, however, continued to operate the business. (5) In 1894 the hotel was purchased by Charles E. WALES and renamed the Wales Hotel.

The building was destroyed by fire on July 5, 1917 and the site was later used for the construction of the home for the Telegraph Herald.

Hotel menu.

In the 1880 through 1899-1900 Dubuque City Directory the address was given as the corner of Julien and Bluff.



1. "Death of Peter A. Lorimier," The Herald, October 17, 1871, p. 4

2. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, June 2, 1874, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18740602&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. "Improvements on the Lorimier House," Daily Herald, June 26, 1874, p. 4

4. "A Rich Token of Appreciation," Dubuque Herald, June 3, 1874. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18740603&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

5. "The Lorimier House," Dubuque Herald, August 3, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760803&printsec=frontpage&hl=en