Dauphine Hotel circa 1880

The Dauphine Hotel is one of the oldest lodging establishments in Missouri. It began as a two room farm house which was built by an early settler in the 1840s. A few years later the land around the building was divided up into lots and the town of Dauphine was established. By the mid 1850s Felix Bonnot, the town's founder, had built a saw mill in town which supplied wooden ties for the first railroad line through the area. With the coming of the railroad, the town grew rapidly and by 1875 the farm house had been enlarged and was being operated as a hotel.

Many of the early guests of the hotel were traveling salesmen called "drummers" who would arrive via train and display their wares in the the hotel lobby, sometimes called the "trunk room". Other guests included railroad employees like the one pictured here, working at the local train depot.


Railroad employee at the Bonnots Mill depot.


In 1890 the hotel was purchased by a French couple, Alex and Adelaide Verdot. Alex was a county judge and was involved with a number of other businesses in town. Adelaide ran the hotel with the help of their four daughters (pictured with their parents below, from left to right: Louise, Annie, Constance and Lizzie).


The Verdot Family


Adelaide died in 1921 and Alex in 1927. By that time, one daughter, Constance, had married a railroad worker (a man she'd met when he was a guest at the Dauphine) and had moved to Kansas. At about that same time, automobiles were rapidly becoming more common and US 50 was paved, diverting much traffic away from the town (by that time called Bonnots Mill). This shift, combined with the beginning of the Great Depression, led to the eventual closing of the Dauphine Hotel.

The three remaining sisters, known as "the Girls", continued to live in the hotel and take on long-term boarders. They never married and all lived well into their 90s. The last sister died in 1970 and ownership of the Dauphine transferred to their nephew (Constance's son).

Three of the Verdot girls

A new chapter in the hotel's history began in 1979 when it was purchased by Dr. Robert and Barbara Bregant from Jefferson City. They researched the history of the Dauphine Hotel and got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They also began an extensive restoration of all of the guest rooms as well as the kitchen area. They worked to preserve the exterior of the building and bought many antiques to add to the larger original pieces that remained from the early days of the hotel.


In 1994 the current owners, Scott and Sandra Holder, purchased the Dauphine Hotel and completed the restoration work begun by the Bregants. Upstairs they installed central heating and air conditioning and added a private bathroom for each guest room. Downstairs, they restored the lobby, parlor and formal dining rooms. Extensive landscaping, along with new curtains, rugs, linens and dishes, provided the necessary finishing touches.

Guests will be hard pressed to find another B&B as authentic and yet comfortable as the Dauphine!


Proud Member of Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri

Dauphine Hotel Bed and Breakfast Inn
100 Iris Avenue, Bonnots Mill, MO 65016
Toll Free: (877) 901-4144
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