Travelers Rooming House ready for guests following 11-month restoration
Barb Crane’s dream of creating a new lodging destination in downtown Hannibal came to fruition after 11 months of restoration in a historic former hotel where Abraham Lincoln once slept.
Crane could only envision the rooming house when she purchased the historic building in 2008. It began as the Central Hotel, where Abraham Lincoln reportedly stayed. The building later became the Alibi Rooming House, with a tavern on the first floor and a brothel on the upper levels. It became an apartment building in the 1960s. The site will once again serve as a downtown lodging destination, following months of restoration, construction and creativity from Curt and Kim Linderman of Patriot Painting and Project Services and Crane’s decorative touches.
Handmade features were added to each room — a whiskey barrel forms the base for the bathroom sink, just beside one of the building’s historic clawfoot tubs. Lath from the old walls forms a handmade countertop, intricate roof designs and a guitar decoration, strung with copper from old wiring. Each room’s name is painted on the overhead transom windows. Curt Linderman said he thinks the different themes will pique people’s curiosities and encourage a social environment in the coffee bar.
“It’s going to bring the guests together a lot,” he said.
Kim Linderman was glad to be a part of such a rewarding project. “It’s been a blessing, and we’re just proud to share it with Hannibal,” she said. “And we’re very honored that Barb decided to choose us for this project to complete her dream.”
Crane happily described the family touches that she included throughout each themed room, including photos of the barn where she played as a child. Its timbers make up the handmade bed and tables in the Woodsman’s Suite. In the hallway, her father’s old accordion sits inside an open suitcase, and her mother’s wedding photos are in the Royal Suite.
“Words cannot express,” Crane said. “People keep asking, ‘Are you stressed out?’ And I said ‘Stressed out? No, I’m on cloud nine.’ There’s nothing stressful about seeing your dream come to concretion. I’m just elated and very thankful for the opportunity to do it.”
Chandler Grave worked alongside the Lindermans throughout the months of restoration, and he said the results were worth the effort.
“It’s just amazing to me — seeing it from bare walls and plaster and dust, and be seeing the artwork that’s here now, and how much work that went into actually doing it, and the thought process that went into making it an idea and using our skills in order to make it happen,” he said. “The crazy part now, seeing it finished and watching people’s eyes blow up when they see, it is very cool.”