Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Eldridge Hotel

We have posted about the Eldridge Hotel before. That post was our story about Haunted Lawrence. Today we are more focused on the historical aspect of the building. Although much of the history is woven into the reason it is said to be haunted.

According to the Eldridge's own website,
The Eldridge Hotel has been an integral part of the history of Lawrence since its founding. The original building on this site was the Free State Hotel, built in 1855 by settlers from the New England Emigrant Aid Society. The Free State Hotel was intended to be temporary quarters for those settlers who came here from Boston and other areas while their homes were being built. It was named the Free State Hotel to make clear the intent of those early settlers: that Kansas should enter the union as a free state.
However, in 1856, the Eldridge was burned by a band of pro-slavery forces led by Sheriff Sam Jones. Being rebuilt it remained until 1863 when it was attacked during Quantrill's raid on Lawrence.
Colonel Eldridge promptly rebuilt the hotel and gave it his name, the Hotel Eldridge. To this day, the seal of the city of Lawrence depicts a phoenix rising from the ashes. Its motto is “from ashes to immortality”. The seal and motto exhibit the determination by the people of Lawrence to stand and fight for the rights and dignity of people everywhere.

This marks the site of the Free State Hotel erected in 1855 by the New England Emigrant Aid Society. Destroyed by Sheriff Jones and his posse May 21, 1856, and rebuilt by Col. Schaler W. Eldridge. Quantrill and his raiders destroyed Lawrence August 21, 1863, burned the hotel and massacred the citizens. Col. Eldridge restored the hotel which stood until 1926 when it was rebuilt by W.G. Hutson.

1940 by Lawrence Rotary Club.

701 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence KS 66044
Intersection of 7th and Massachusetts

Handicapped Accessibility:
We found only one handicapped entrance, right next to this historical marker. Inside the  hotel there are elevators to get to upper floors.  We however, on this visit only visited the Jayhawker Restaurant,just inside these doors. 


  1. Wow this doesn't look like the hotels I see today! It's almost like an office building! I would love to see the inside!!

    1. I have visited a restaurant on the first floor of the hotel, it is pretty elegant inside.


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