Gilliss House Hotel

Gilliss House Hotel (HM1N3O)

Location: Kansas City, MO 64106 Jackson County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 6.777', W 94° 35.067'

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The stone wall that still exists today against the bluff between Delaware and Wyandotte Streets is the remains of the once-famous Gilliss House Hotel. Built around 1850, the lively riverfront hotel went by various names including the Union, American, Eldridge, and finally the Gilliss House Hotel.

During the Border War era, 1854-1860, the hotel was a hotbed of intrigue as it changed hands between pro-slavery and abolitionist proprietors. Throughout the 1880s it was the main, and eventually the only, hotel here on the Missouri riverfront. Over the years many prominent frontiersmen, including Kit Carson stayed in the first-rate inn before journeying out onto the plains or returning east via steamboat.
"I write you from a point which is getting to be more and more a favorite resort for those engaged in the Santa Fe trade... It has the advantage of an excellent landing, accessible at all stages of the river, and is only four or five miles from the "Plains", with which it is connected by a road that, already good, is constantly improving. The Traders seem well pleased with the treatment they receive here." A guest to the hotel, Kansas Public Ledger, 1851
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When Kansas City's businesses and growing population spread south of the river, the riverfront became less desirable and the hotel's popularity dropped. The Gillis House fortune declined, and the hotel's heyday was over. Soon the lowly old building would become a pickle factory. And finally, in the 1920s, the long-standing structure burned to the ground.
Photograph courtesy of the Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.
HM NumberHM1N3O
Placed ByNational Park Service and Kansas City Area Historic Trails Association
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, August 21st, 2015 at 1:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 363014 N 4330505
Decimal Degrees39.11295000, -94.58445000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 6.777', W 94° 35.067'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 6' 46.62" N, 94° 35' 4.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)816, 913
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Riverfront Heritage Trail, Kansas City MO 64106, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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