f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Hotel Idan-Ha

Posted Monday, October 26, 2009, at 2:04 AM

This picture of the Hotel Idan-Ha shows a three-story hotel at the southwest corner of Broadway and Fountain that was built in 1908-09 by A.J. Flentge of Cape Girardeau.

A five-story structure to its south was apparently built in 1912.

The Hotel Idan-Ha was opened to the public on March 8, 1909.

In 1918 the owner (by then George McBride) purchased the adjoining Broadway property on the west, with plans "as soon as the war is over" to enlarge the hotel.

Walter Black bought the business in the early 1920s and in 1922 announced plans to enlarge the A.C. Vasterling building (the stone-faced structure) to five stories to match the southern addition. The following year, the plans were re-drawn and a single story was added to the Vasterling building (making it the three-story building in the photo). With that improvement, 44 more rooms were added to the hotel, for a total of around 100 rooms.

Renovations were done periodically. One in 1923 noted the installation of water in 15 rooms in the "old part" of the hotel.

It also went through numerous owners and managers, as well as various court proceedings.

The hotel housed various businesses through the years, including barber shops, a saloon, a pharmacy, a café, a restaurant, a tobacco store, doctors' offices, a women's apparel store (Milady's) and the very popular Rainbow Room.

Among people to stay at the Idan-Ha were Evangelist Billy Sunday (1926) and members of the Fort Wayne, Ind., and Muskegon, Mich., teams of the All American Girls Baseball League, who trained in Cape Girardeau in 1950.

Fire destroyed the hotel on June 29, 1968.

Read more about the fire in this blog: Fire destroys Hotel Idan-Ha

--Sharon Sanders

[Editor's Note: It is possible the name Idan-Ha was taken from bottled water. The Natural Mineral Water Co. started in 1887 in Soda Springs, Idaho. The Idan-Ha Hotel in Soda Springs was built that year as a dining station by Union Pacific Railroad. Idan-Ha mineral water was sold across the country and might have found its way to Cape Girardeau where the Hotel Idan-Ha was opened in 1909. Alternatively, the luxury Idanha Hotel in Boise, Idaho opened in 1901.]


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  • Thanks for posting these blogs! They are very informative and well researched. I enjoy reading them very much! Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

    Can anyone identify the cars? I see a late 30's Hudson, an early 50's Ford, and is that a Cadillac parked in front?

    -- Posted by Lumpy on Mon, Oct 26, 2009, at 5:43 AM
  • Thanks for these articles and pictures from the history of Cape. I enjoy them.

    -- Posted by JD420 on Mon, Oct 26, 2009, at 8:26 AM
  • wow..thanks fred for such a unique and wonderful feature...it is neat to see that you are interested in history..and want to share...yeah sharon sanders,too!

    -- Posted by mindspace on Mon, Nov 2, 2009, at 6:35 AM
  • How absolutely wonderful to see this picture!!!!

    My parents, Eldon and Murriel Bone, owned and operated the Idan-Ha Hotel from the 1930's until around 1960. This is truly a blast from the past as we have no pictures that show the hotel from the outside and in such entirety. Thank you so much for posting this and for including the information as well.

    -- Posted by blapp on Mon, Nov 2, 2009, at 11:23 PM
  • To my knowledge, there was no "Rainbow Coffee Shop" at the hotel. There was the Rainbow Room which was a cocktail lounge and bar, and there was the Idan-Ha Coffee Shop which served food. They were two separate things.

    Thanks again for the very informative picture and article. Well-done!!! Looking forward to more pictures from the past.

    -- Posted by blapp on Tue, Nov 3, 2009, at 10:21 PM