Fremont County, Iowa

The Ghost of The Hotel Del Coronado
"The True Story of Kate Morgan"

by Terry Girardot, 2001;
used with permission

Chapter Three

The Hotel del Coronado

In 1885, Elisha Babcock and his friend, H. L. Story, formed a syndicate and named it the Coronado Beach Company. Its goal was to buy the Coronado peninsula and build a magnificent resort hotel. The land was subdivided into plots and sold to the public; the money raised financed the construction of the hotel. On January 12, 1887, the ground-breaking ceremony for the new hotel took place; the location was a barren piece of land, save for some scrub brush. Timber used in the construction of the building was cut in the Pacific Northwest, lashed together into rafts, and floated down to California.

Because of its isolation from the mainland, the hotel had to be self-sufficient, with its own power plant, brick kiln, laundry facilities and foundry. A railway was built around the peninsula to transport building materials, furnishings and fixtures; later, a ferry carried the hotel guests across the Bay of San Diego. Slightly more than twelve months after construction began, with a crew of more than 2,000 working day and night, the hotelís first official guests were recorded in the hotelís register.

The hotelís advertisement, run daily in the area newspapers, listed the amenities it had to offer.

Written by Terry Girardot, 2001;
Copyright held by Terry. All rights reserved.

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