Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Back in Time
Visiting Bonnots Mill, Missouri is truly a step back in time. The small town is located near Jefferson City, right on the Ozark River. The railroad runs night and day nearby as well. A few years back we spent a weekend in this tiny town. We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast by the name of "Dauphine Hotel". In the 1840's the original site of the hotel was nothing more than a two room farmhouse. The town was origionally named Dauphine after its founding father. It was predominantly a french settlement. Later the small farmhouse was purchased by Felix Bonnot, who eventually sold it to Lucien Party. It was Lucien's family who were responsible for opening the Dauphine Hotel for business in 1875. With the nearby river and railroad there were no shortage of guests. The hotel still receives guests to this day as a B&B. The current owners Scott & Sandy purchased the hotel in 1994 and made many changes. Central air and heat were added, as well as antique gas stoves throughout the downstairs. Much cleaning, and updating were done to the decor. Many wonderful antiques are scattered throughout the hotel. Each of the seven rooms have their own private bath and are decorated with true turn of the century(19th century) furnishings. Staying at this hotel is truly a step back in time. Down the street is an excellent resturant that serves the best fried chicken I've had the pleasure of eating. Huge portions are served with a smile, and the price is right too! We spent one day driving the surrounding area and discovered a tiny town called Frankenstein. I found this quite funny. I have since learned that the town was not named after the famous Doctor of horror movie fame, but instead was named after a gentleman by the name of Gottfried Franken. Mr. Franken donated land that he owned for a church to be built. In 1999 in honor of the 25th anniversary of Mel Brooks movie "Young Frankenstein" the town was visited by 25 sky diving Peter Boyle style frankensteins. They skydived right into the community ball field, each one yelling "Putting on the Ritz" as they exited the plane. The mayor later renamed the town Young Frankenstein in honor of the event. I imagine Halloween is an event to not be missed in a town with a name like this. We also took time to visit Jefferson City where we shopped the numeorus antique malls there. We also took time to see the capital building and tour the museum located there. The hotel is charming, cozy and a true taste of what life must have been like in the late 1800's. Plan a visit, but bring the ear plugs, those night time trains will scare you outta your skin when they whistle by.