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
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
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
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).
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!