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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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Wales Hotel
WALES HOTEL. A stately hotel that stood at Eighth and Bluff on the site later occupied by the TELEGRAPH HERALD, the hotel was built in 1856. It was originally called the "Lorimier" for its builder, William Lorimier. The building had barely opened its doors before the financial panic of 1857 forced it to close. Lorimer reopened the building as apartment house, but it failed to become a financial success. (1)
Charles E. Wales. Photo courtesy: Mike Larkin
Charles E. WALES purchased the building and made it successful before leaving to manage the Julien Hotel (now the HOTEL JULIEN DUBUQUE). After a few years, Wales returned as owner-manager until his death. (2)

The hotel was owned and operated by Frank Pierce who sold the business to D. H. McCarthy who made extensive renovations including an elevator. (3) An two-story brick addition was made to the west side of the building. The first floor was dedicated as a room where guests could be checked in and baggage collected by porters for delivery to the rooms. The second floor was used as a kitchen. (4)

Envelope advertising a reunion of Civil War troops.
Telegraph Herald, Aug. 23, 1908. Image courtesy: Diane Harris

One of the festive occasions held at the hotel was a "Private Mid-Winter Hop" on the evening of January 11, 1911. For the admission price of seventy-five cents, those invited enjoyed a program of thirty dances including a wabanzie and several schottische. The Wales Hotel stood until July 5, 1917, when it was destroyed by fire.

Hotel stationery
1905 hotel stationery



1. "Way Back When," Telegraph Herald, November 25, 1960, p. 5

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Addition to Hotel," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, January 2, 1903, p. 2