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.