110-year-old building, former home of Rose Bed Inn, demolished

The site of 611 S. Sprigg St. is seen Monday in south Cape Girardeau.
Sarah Yenesel

The more-than 110-year-old building that once housed Rose Bed Inn in south Cape Girardeau is no more.

The demolition of the house at 611 S. Sprigg St. began Friday.

When owner of the property Scott Blank was asked about why he chose to demolish the building, he said, “Why not?”

Blank said that when he originally bought the property a few years ago, he had no specific plans for it and bought it as an investment.

Blank said there have been multiple break-ins and “squatters” on the property, and he found drugs on site.

611 S. Sprigg St. is seen in late 2019 in south Cape Girardeau.
Southeast Missourian file

“It’s an eye sore to the city,” Blank said.

Sgt. Joey Hann of the Cape Girardeau Police Department said there have been no trespassing calls on record for the property in recent years. One arrest was made in 2019 for someone who had a warrant. But he said there are multiple instances of trespassing on record in recent years at 525 S. Sprigg St.

The buildings have started the demolition process and are now mostly a pile of rubble and dirt. Demolition permits for 611 and 525 S. Sprigg St. show both properties have the same owner and contractor. The permit for 525 was issued Sept. 8, while the permit for 611 was issued Sept. 11.

The 611 S. Sprigg St. building was originally a single-family home built in 1908 to showcase the brickwork of William Schrader, according to James Coley, former co-owner of Rose Bed Inn. The building was refurbished to be Rose Bed Inn in 2004 until the business closed in 2014.

It was added to the Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission’s endangered buildings list in 2017, according to the city’s website. The city considers the structures on this list as having historic value and are believed to be at risk of being lost because of significant deterioration and/or imminent demolition.

Joel P. Rhodes, Southeast Missouri State University professor of history and author of “Haunted Cape Girardeau: Where the River Turns a Thousand Chilling Tales,” found reason to believe there was a ghost named Alex in the building.

In an interview with the Southeast Missourian in October, Rhodes said Rose Bed Inn owners James Coley and Eldon Nattier once told him they were able to see Alex sitting in a room periodically smoking a cigar — and they could also smell cigar smoke.