Christmas 1952: The Dockers Riverside Hotel

Shawneetown, IL

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The Dockers Riverside Hotel woodblock print card

The card's interior

The card’s interior

This large and pretentious hotel, built in 1870 on the Illinois side of the Ohio River, was noted for its large rooms and high ceilings, as well as for the balls it hosted, which attracted guests from miles around. Guests frequented the hotel while waiting for the boats which traversed the Ohio River, traveling to Cincinnati and New Orleans.

Unfortunately, 1937 spring floods caused immense devastation to Shawneetown. According to the Turners, “The 1937 flood ran Ohio River water six feet deep over the top of the levee and through the second floor of the Dockers Riverside. When we saw it in 1937, a family was living in the ‘tower suite’ with a cow quartered in the guest room just at the left of the tower and a flock of chickens enjoyed the hospitality of guest room back of that.”

The Dockers Riverside was torn down in 1941, and the entire town of Shawneetown moved to higher ground. The Turners’ full research on the Hotel is accessible in their Christmas 1952 note.

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