ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Robinson House



1859      A NEW OMNIBUS

07 21       Mr. Peter Bertholf has recently purchased and bought to this city a large and commodious Omnibus, which will be found at the railroad depot every evening and morning, or whenever the cars arrive, ready to convey passengers to the hotels or to any part of the city.  It is the most elegant establishment of the kind in the city, and we hope the enterprising and gentlemanly purchaser will find his reward in the patronage and liberality of travelers and citizens.   WD


[Cross Reference:  Peter Bertholf, proprietor, Robinson House. s e c Main and First, 1866-67 Watertown City Directory]




A New and Beautiful Style of Graining.  Mr. Drew Straw, an experienced and skillful painter in this city, has just introduced an entirely new and superior system of graining, which enable the operator to produce the most perfect and beautiful imitations of Rosewood, Oak, Black Walnut, or any other wood that may be preferred . . . Fine specimens of Mr. Straw’s work with his new patterns may now be seen at the Robinson House, the painting of which has been done by him.  There is no failure or humbug about this new and useful invention and we strongly commend Mr. Straw to the favor of all who wish to unite taste and economy in adorning the interior of their dwellings.   WD


07 02       The Robinson House.  The hotel, formerly known as the Planter’s, has been rebuilt, enlarged, elevated, completely overhauled, refurnished, and will be ready for the reception of guests and travelers on the 4th of July.  It will be open for the inspection of visitors on Friday evening, the 3rd, when ladies and gentlemen who would like to pass through its suits of rooms are cordially invited by the new proprietor, Mr. R. E. Robinson, to do so.  The House is now an entirely new establishment and as much a credit to our city as to the enterprise and liberality of the gentleman, who at a great outlay, has furnished the public with another first-class hotel.  We hope he will find his reward in a profitable and successful business.   WD



[same date]  A. H. Van Vlierden has opened a Fruit and Confectionary Store under the Robinson House.  He has a soda fountain and a suit of rooms where parties can obtain a dish of ice cream at any hour.  All varieties of fruit and candies can also be purchased there.   WD


07 16       The complimentary supper given by Mr. E. R. Robinson, the proprietor of this new public house, came off according to appointment on the 15th.  It was generally attended . . . all passed the evening delightfully in the enjoyment of the special hospitalities of the occasion.  There were seats for about one hundred and fifty guests and we do no more than justice when we say that no more sumptuous table was ever prepared in this city.  The “bill of fare” comprised everything in the way of fish and fowl and all varieties of the choicest delicacies.  Oysters in the shell were served up in every style the ingenuity of experienced cooks could devise, meats of all descriptions were furnished in abundance – in short, nothing was wanting that could satisfy the taste or please the fancy.


The gay assemblage was in the best of spirits and all passed off charmingly.  It has never before been our fortune to see so many of our citizens together at a similar festivity and all departed with the highest appreciation of the courtesy and liberality of the new landlord.


The Robinson House of this city is now fully opened to the public and a better arranged, better furnished and better kept hotel is nowhere to be found.  The guests of Mr. Robinson feel themselves at home.  Several families have already abandoned housekeeping and taken rooms at the Robinson and we understand more contemplate doing so. 


No speeches were made or toasts drank at the party we have spoken of, but if we had been called on for a sentiment, we should have been prompted to offer something like the following:  The Robinson House – May its Union flag wave in the breeze and its proprietor meet with the full success and generous reward he so richly deserves.


We think that would have brought the crowd to their feet “with three times three.”   WD



Mr. Van Vlierden has recently established fruit and oyster rooms under the Robinson House on Main Street and is now ready to furnish the best variety of the favorite Baltimore oysters by the dish, can, or at wholesale.  His dining rooms are elegantly fitted up with reference to the reception of visitors or parties at any hour and he is prepared to entertain his guests in the most agreeable and pleasant way.  His stock of confectionery is large and various and the choicest brands of cigars and tobacco may always be found at his establishment.  Every kind of green fruit can be obtained there at the lowest price.   WD


12 17       AN EXCHANGE

Mr. James Kilmer, formerly of the Watertown House, has recently become clerk of the Robinson House of this city, one of the best hotels in the state.  Mr. Kilmer is one of those intelligent and genial gentlemen that friends and guests always like to meet.  Attentive and accommodating, treating all alike with courtesy and urbanity, he will be sure to win the respect and good will of all who have business to transact with him.


A correspondent sends us the following note, which we insert just as it came to us:


“Another change in the Administration – In looking over the columns of the N. Y. Tribune this morning I was highly elated in noticing that the Hon. Hiram Whitney, formerly head clerk of the Robinson House, has been promoted to the clerkship of the far-famed Watertown House, where he will be found in the good humor and graceful appearance which have won the affections and confidence of the traveling public and is ever ready to wait on his old friends and all others who see fit to favor him with a call.  We say success to ‘Hi’ – as he is bound to reach the height of fame.”   WD



02 04       LEAP YEAR RIDE

This being Leap Year, the ladies have asserted their privilege and got up an old fashioned sleigh ride and it is to come off tomorrow . . .



We learn that Mr. R. E. Robinson, the proprietor of the extensive and popular hotel known as the Robinson House, has sold that establishment to Mr. Peter Bertholf and Benjamin Cunningham of this city for $8,000.  The new owners will take possession on the 1st of April next and no doubt maintain the fair reputation of the house.


Mr. Robinson will leave here, as a memorial of his enterprise, the largest hotel we have yet had, and which, under his skillful management, has become a credit to the place.  He is a model landlord and his guests all depart with one opinion of his uniform courtesy and efforts to render all around him pleased and “at home.”  He will carry with him the good will and respect of the community, and brief as has been his sojourn here, he has remained long enough for his departure to be generally regretted.   WD



Tomorrow the new proprietors of the Robinson House, Messrs. [Peter] Bertholf & Cunningham, take possession of their establishment and Mr. Robinson, who has conducted it with so much ability and success during the past year, retires.  It is now one of the best hotels in the state and enjoys a reputation it is well worth while to keep and which we have no doubt will be maintained by the new proprietors.


Mr. Robinson will carry with him, wherever he may go, the good will and kind regards of the community whose favor he has secured by his liberality and courtesy.  Should he remain in the state and engage in the same business elsewhere, his hotel will be the home of our citizens whenever they shall meet him in their travels.  We can wish no place a better fortune than to have him at the head of a public house.   WD


04 21               The Robinson House, under the careful and successful management of its now proprietors, Messrs. Bertholf & Cunningham, maintains its high place in public favor, and justly ranks among the first class hotels in the state.  Its present landlords spare no pains or expense to make it an agreeable and attractive resort for travelers and all others who avail themselves of its excellent accommodations.  It is the largest establishment of the kind in the city, conveniently arranged, and is conducted with a liberality and courtesy that win the good will of all who stop at it, and it well deserves the popularity and esteem it has already acquired.   WD


09 15               BARBER ROOMS under the Robinson House

Eugene Gebhardt:  Barber rooms under the Robinson House, on First Street.  Shaving, hair dressing and champooing [shampooing] done with neatness and dispatch.


HAIR DRESSING –Eugene Gebhardt has succeeded M. Paulfranz in the proprietorship of the Barber Salon under the Robinson House and will hereafter carry on the business at the old stand.  He is a skillful master of the tonsorial art in all its branches, serving his customers promptly, cutting the hair after fashion, and doing all in a manner calculated to please and give entire satisfaction.   WD





1911      ROBINSON HOUSE BAR / Pictures of Days Gone By.

08 10       During homecoming there were several pictures on exhibition in the show window of the D. & F. Kusel Co. that attracted the attention of a great many people, one being the picture of the interior of the Robinson House bar, which hotel stood on the present site of Gamm’s drug store and the Evan’s block; another picture of the Watertown Rifles, taken in 1857, a photo of Carl Schurz at 19 years of age; a picture of Watertown’s first band organized in 1866, composed of Al Rutherford, Otto Schulerman, W. D. Sproesser, William F. Quentmeyer, Carl Nowack, William Sommerfelt, Frank Kartak, Fred Pohlmann, one unknown.   WG




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin