James C. Savery, with his brothers Chester and George, purchased their first hotel in 1853 on the south side of Walnut close to the Western Stagecoach Depot on Third Street.
It cost $6 to ride the stagecoach down to Keokuk in the 1860’s. Early travelers reported that for $6 the passengers were treated to unlimited swearing and were frequently called upon to assist in the passage when the stagecoach became mired in mud.
The Walnut area (3rd to 4th Street) encompassed many Des Moines Landmarks:
- Graefe House, above, Michael Kennedy’s “First Livery Stable in the City” (The Civic Center is now here)
- The busy Exchange Block, above (built in 1850), and housed the city council and offices of doctors, lawyers, and other professionals
- Green and Weare Banking House of 1855, which was under the supervision of Hoyt Sherman.
- Carter, Hussey, and Curl, publishers, bookbinders, and stationers.
Hunter, Dan. Des Moines: Confluence of People and Resources. 1982: Public Library of Des Moines.
Content also from the Des Moines Architectural and Historical Tour.