Continuing in the vein from last week’s advertisements of the 1850s and 60s, here are some from Indianapolis hotels of the 1870s and 80s.


Circle Park Hotel, 1880

Circle Park Hotel appeared in Indianapolis in the 1880s. These ads convey the high quality service, and likely expensive rooms, provided by the hotel. The above ad is from 1880 and the top one from 1888. If the term has not changed in 130 years, “European Plan” indicates that meals were not included in the room price, though a dining room was within the hotel.

Circle House, 1870

Also using the prestige of the Circle was the Circle House, located one building south of the Circle on Meridian Street. The hotel’s back wall actually was shared with the Circle Park Hotel. The views in the ads are looking northeast from Meridian Street; the building was on an alley corner. The left ad is from 1870, right is from 1888.Pyle House, 1887

Pyle House, 1888

Pyle House was at the southeast corner of Meridian and Ohio, on the opposite side of the Circle from the above hotels. A converted house, the Pyle often shows up in the background of early photos of Christ Church Cathedral. These ads date from 1887 and 88.

Bates House, 1883

The Bates House, one of the city’s finest hotels in the earlier years, was still in operation in 1883. Its prestige was apparently falling with its age.

While the Bates House may have been losing its position among the well-to-do, it was still a landmark, referenced even by other hotels.

Tremont House, 1871

This 1870 ad stated that Tremont House had just opened. It was one of many hotels in close proximity to the Union Depot (and later Union Station).

Spencer House, 1883

Spencer House was one of the more famous hotels around Union Station. It was located directly across from the Union Station on Illinois Street. The hotel would appear in photos and postcards for many years. Both ads are from 1883.

Enterprise, 1888

Finally, far away from the other hotels shown here was the Enterprise Hotel on Massachusetts. Closer to the city’s residential areas than the core commercial district or the train station, the boarders were more likely visiting family or just appreciated the quietness of the area.

One response to “Sunday Ads: Hotels of the 1870s and 80s”

  1. Joshua B says:

    This article was highly interesting and informative!
    I’m currently writing historical fiction set in 1884 and information from the time period is difficult to come by.

    Thanks, a fellow Hoosier.

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