Heirlooms, book tell stories of long, long ago

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Over the past few years it appears we have moved on to what we would call, “The keeper of family heirlooms and history.” Our home verifies that statement.
In the dining room, a hutch holds carnival glassware and china accumulated by five generations of heirloom giftings representing from as far back as great-great grandparents. Then in our family room is a cabinet of early ornate inkwells complete with long-stemmed pens. On the shelves in our basement are boxes containing everything from strap-on roller skates to old photo albums, along with a bookcase with old books such as the latest edition of Emily Post’s which covered the rules of early days’ etiquette and social usage.
Obviously we missed following Emily’s advice that she published in 1920. However, we did find another book that drew our attention from a book on the next shelf of the bookcases. The book: The Official Hotel Red Book and Directory – 1920.
Curiosity got the best of us and we opened the 835-page bound book that contained the list of the leading hotels throughout the United States and Canada, as well as some hotels in Cuba, Hawaii, South America and the West Indies. In addition, the book could be found in all Pullman, Parlor and Sleeping Cars of all major railroads. Our book apparently had been picked up by a family member after the closing of Wagner Hotel in Plattsmouth.
Special interest came when we checked the hotel listings for Nebraska and found two hotels listed in Aurora. The Aurora House (which the book rated first class because it was listed in CAPITAL letters) had a room rate of $1 per person and was operated by C.C. Jones. The only other hotel listed in Aurora was the Lyon Hotel with no owner or room rate listed.
In 1920 Aurora’s population was 2,630 and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad and the Boston and Maine Railroad were also listed.
No other hotels in Hamilton County made mention, but we must remember the hoteliers had to pay an annual fee to have their firm listed in the book.
We can’t help wondering how many pages it would take if such a book was issued in 2020. While hotels cease to exist in Aurora we now have more motels in the area as highways and air have replaced the rail as passenger choice of transportation.
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If a man wants his dreams to come true, he must first wake up.

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