by Cynthia Huffman Sweet
Mischief, murder, and immorality are timeless, as author Cynthia Sweet illustrates with her survey of nineteenth century Cedar Falls, Iowa hotels.
The first stage tavern inn was established in Cedar Falls within five years of the community’s settlement and shortly thereafter the mischief began. When the Western Stage Company rolled into town each evening it brought weary travelers weighed down with troubles, rowdy entertainers, and wicked men and women.
Once lodged in Cedar Falls hotels they became part of the community and the stories of their mysterious deaths, boisterous drinking, and scandalous behavior filled the columns of the Cedar Falls Gazette from 1860–1900.
Drawing on existing newspapers, census records, and the archives of the Cedar Falls Historical Society, Sweet explains the development of local hotels through multiple name changes, owners, and scandals and identifies their physical location using a combination of maps, land records and other clues. While the hotels provide the arena in which the scandals occur and are thus the organizing mechanism for the book, Sweet also provides fascinating community context with details about local businesses, community events, and families.
Cynthia Huffman Sweet is an independent historian specializing in genealogical research and local history. She is the author of multiple genealogies and most recently solved the 200 year old mystery surrounding the ancestry of Robert Logan of Red River Settlement. Sweet received her M.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and currently serves as the executive director of the Iowa Museum Association.
165 pages, 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" with black and white photos, soft cover.
Published by The Iowan Books
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