Manufacturer: William Guerin & Co., Limoges, France
User: The Tacoma Hotel – Mermaid Room
Distributor: Burley & Company
Date of plate: circa early 1900s
Notes: Designed in a modified Tudor style by celebrated architect Stanford White, the Hotel Tacoma opened August 8, 1884 in Tacoma, WA. Located at 9th and A streets, the hotel overlooked Commencement Bay and became the place to stay and was once rated the best hotel on the West Coast. Among its guests were presidents and authors Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain.
In the 1890s, the Tacoma acquired a baby cub bear, who became the hotel's mascot and chief beer drinker. Jack the Beer Bear at 800 pounds would "grab a mug in his front paws and down pint after pint."
Like too many wild animals introduced to domesticity, Jack met a sad fate. He went off on a bender one night and left the grounds, headed down 9th Street toward Pacific Avenue, a busy part of town. It took a couple of shots from the local police to subdue poor Jack, and while his wounds weren't fatal, the damage to his personality by the night's events was permanent. He was later euthanized.
The Tacoma was destroyed by fire October 17, 1935. Click here for additional information about the hotel fire.
White body with a wide rim border of sailing mast ships in dark green, set against a soft, gray-green background and blush-colored slivers of a sunset or sunrise. Topmarked with a dark green & white mermaid lounging on a sign that says, The Tacoma.
For related info:
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