Metamora House


Owned by T.B.Spiers

Additions to the rear



Metamora House

         The Metamora House built in 1843 was located at the corner of South Davenport and East Mt. Vernon near where the Dr. H. W. Riggert building is today.  It faced the Courthouse across the street.  Built by Samuel Parks, it was the first building erected specifically for a tavern.  Mr. Parks had it open in time to accommodate the first sessions of the Circuit Court held in Hanover, later Metamora after the county seat was moved from Versailles.  `It was torn down in 1915 because of its dilapidated condition.  In early days the circuit court districts were very large and judges and lawyers rode horseback from one county seat to another.   Abraham Lincoln was often a guest at this old hostelry.  The building was owned by Basil Meek and Amos Ellis who later sold it toThomas B. and his wife Maria.  Mrs. Spiers continued to operate the hotel until around l900.  Sometime in the 1850s the Spiers family enlarged the building with additions to the sides and rear as shown in the photo above.

          The latter addition to the building was found to be rotted at the base while the front original built of hardwood lumber sawed at the mill then located north of Metamora.  The studding and rafters were of oak now seasoned as hard as it is possible for vegetable matter to be.  The weather boarding on the east and west sides were found to be oak, while the entire north side was covered with black walnut hand drawn shingles.    A few of these shingles still on the roof were found in good condition and replaced when the building was reshingled.  The original building was in firm condition and if placed on a foundation it could have stood another three score and ten years.  However, it could not have been made into a habitation suited to modern demands.  The ceilings and doorways were low and one can imagine that a person of Abraham Lincolnís height would necessarily need to do some ducking in moving through the building. 


Photos submitted by Linda Keys.

History by Shirley Adams.

Source from the April, 1915 Metamora Herald.


Send any old photos and related stories concerning Metamora History to Metamora Association for Historic Preservation, PO Box 264, Metamora, IL 61548.

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