Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Arlington Hotel Coming Back-Again Bed and Breakfast Serves Up History

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Arlington Hotel Coming Back-Again Bed and Breakfast Serves Up History

Article excerpt

The old Arlington Hotel was once a showcase for De Soto - a place where railroad travelers from afar would get a bite to eat or a warm place to stay. The Arlington Bed and Breakfast Inn reopened in late March, and the hotel's new owners hope to raise it to its former status again.

Built during the Civil War, the Arlington - as it is popularly known - has undergone many style changes as well as name changes. It opened as the De Soto House.

In the mid-1870s, Jefferson Davis stopped at the Arlington Hotel on his way to the county fair in De Soto. Documents from that time indicate that Davis arrived at 4 a.m. and had breakfast. Some believe that he might have spent a night there as well. Town folklore, said Don Allen, president of De Soto's historical society, has it that the hotel was once home to a beer garden and one of Jefferson County's first swimming pools. At least two fires have threatened to destroy the Arlington. The last one, in 1991, caused extensive damage. The first was in the mid 1960s, when the Arlington was being used as a boarding house. Dennis Welch, a De Soto business man, saved the Arlington when he and his wife, Judy, bought it after the second fire. The couple spent two years restoring it. In 1993, the Welches opened the Arlington Bed and Breakfast Inn; they operated it for a year and a half. Judy Welch is credited with decorating the rooms in antique Victorian mode, naming rooms and decorating them accordingly. The Welches closed the Arlington in 1995 after they divorced. But the inn reopened last month with new owners, Brenda and Rich Jenkins. Last August, the Jenkinses stumbled on the Arlington during a quiet drive through De Soto. It was a Sunday evening, and the couple, who have been married for 23 years and have six children, found themselves alone after returning from church. They left their 125-year-old Victorian farmhouse in Morse Mill and headed to De Soto in search of ice cream cones and Victorian architecture. On East Main Street, they found the large white Victorian building - for sale. Almost immediately, they began negotiating a deal with Welch, which included a swap of the Jenkinses' home for Welch's hotel. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.