Sisters Tea House & Evening Wine Garden located in Fenton, Missouri.  We specialize in tea parties, weddings, showers, birthday parties and any special event!

 

TEA ROOM HOURS
TUESDAY - SATURDAY
11:00AM - 2:30PM

Sisters Tea House
505 West Main Street
Fenton, MO 63026
636-305-1319

sistersteahouse@charter.net

 

 

 

NOTES ON THE NAVAJO HOTEL, FENTON 

The historic building on Main Street in Fenton, facing a spur of Gravois Road, has long been known as the Navajo Hotel, although its years as a hostelry are long over.  The origins of the building have been something of a mystery.

The building sits on Lot 9 of Block 1 of the original subdivision called the Town of Fenton.  The 1878 county atlas shows no building on either this lot or the adjacent Lot 10 at the corner of Ferry, both of which were owned by William Enright.  William and his wife Catherine sold both lots on March 5, 1883 to Edward Desalme (St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds, Book 19, page 634).  The name is now usually written DeSalme.

According to Della Lang (River City: The Story of Fenton, Missouri, 1992), Edward DeSalme was a blacksmith and his family lived in Fenton.  He owned Lot 9 for only about six weeks, selling it on April 19, 1883 to John H. Lippelmann (Book 21, page 243).  The 1893 county directory shows Lippelmann as a manufacturer living in Kirkwood, and he may never have lived in Fenton.

Lippelmann and his wife Charlotte sold the lot on February 22, 1986 to James E. Longworth (Book 86, page 132).  Longworth was a native of Fenton, born in 1851 to William A. J. Longworth (1829-1895), a merchant who served as postmaster of Fenton in 1868.  Mrs. Longworth was the former Lucy A. Patterson of Florissant (1835-1925), a member of the large family long settled around northern Halls Ferry Road.  Both parents were buried in the cemetery of the old Fenton Methodist Church on Main Street, which is now gone but was recorded by the DAR about 1950.

James E. Longworth borrowed $1,200 against his property the same day he purchased it (Book 83, page 89), and he again borrowed against the property in 1903, this time for $1,500 from his brother Cornelius P. Longworth, with a third brother, William M. Longworth serving as trustee (Book 139, page 418).  These loans may reflect the construction of a building on the property.  A rectangular building is shown on Lot 9 in the 1909 county atlas, but it is not marked as being a hotel, although three other buildings in Fenton are labeled "Hotel and Saloon" or "Saloon & Hotel."

James E. Longworth died in Fenton on July 11, 1927.  He had never married, so his property went to his surviving brothers.  William M. Longworth, born in 1855, was a policeman in Fenton; he had already died single in 1923 and was also buried in the Methodist cemetery.  That left Cornelius P. Longworth (1859-1937), a wholesale grocer living with his wife Mattie and family at 5017 Cabanne Avenue west of Kingshighway; and the fourth brother, Jefferson D. Longworth, who had moved with his wife Eleanor to Clay County, South Dakota.  On July 6, 1928, Jefferson and Eleanor quit-claimed their interest in this property to Cornelius for $200 (Book 951, page 182).  Cornelius had to borrow the money (same book and page).

On September 10 of 1928, however, Cornelius and Mattie Longworth sold this property to Catherine M. and Frank Holz (Book 945, page 64).  Note the spelling:  Catherine, not Katherine.  Della Lang is not correct in writing that Mr. and Mrs. Holz purchased the building in 1924, but they might have begun to manage the hotel at that time.  On the other hand, when Catherine died two years later, her certificate of death stated that she was a housewife at home.  She was a native of Germany, born February 19, 1864, the daughter of Ferdinand and Anna Wunderlich.  Francis X. Holz was also a native of Germany, born October 9, 1861.  When he died, his occupation was given as retired steel worker.  It seems likely, therefore, that the Holz Hotel, as it was then known, was managed primarily by the three daughters, Margaret, Helen and Sarah.

After Catherine Holz died on December 11, 1930, it took years to settle her estate (Probate Court, estate Numbers 11541 and 11699).  In the meantime, however, Frank Holz deeded this property to his daughters as early as April 30, 1931, reserving "the right and use" of the property during his lifetime.  He died December 15, 1939, but the sisters, all single and unmarried, continued to manage the hotel until July 10, 1946, when they sold to Garret Hitzert and his wife E. Patricia Hitzert (Book 2258, page 1).  A 1948 ad published by Lang calls the busines Hitzert's Hotel Navajo, while a photograph from the period shows the sign over the door as Navajo Bar & Cafe.

Esley Hamilton
St. Louis County Parks
October 27, 2010

(Letter from Esley Hamilton): The original date of the building is still a mystery to me, though the 1929 date for its remodeling still seems to be about right.

NOTES FROM CURRENT OWNER
The Tea Room once was a hotel that was owned by the first Mayor of Fenton.  They had their Town Hall Meetings here.  It was well known for their Sunday fried chicken dinners.

Fenton had come back into the old hotel having their offices in the rooms upstairs.  Fenton Historical Museum was in the dining room.

And now it is being served as a Tea Room since 2001.  Rumor has it that this old building is haunted.

 

 

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