Today in Texas History

In 1964 the Nimitz Museum bought the Nimitz Hotel in Fredericksburg. The famous Nimitz Hotel was built on Main Street in the late 1840s and purchased by Charles H. Nimitz in 1855. The hotel had four rooms and a large central fireplace. Nimitz expanded the hotel to fifty rooms. The hotel may have had a casino at one time, and a bathhouse that reportedly offered the only hot baths between San Antonio and El Paso. Nimitz was an enterprising businessman who also operated a brewery, a saloon, and a general store at the hotel. The hotel had a rose garden, a vegetable garden, a grape arbor, and a stagecoach stop at the back protected by a high stone wall. Notable guests of the hotel over the years included President Rutherford B. Hayes, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Philip H. Sheridan, Horace Greeley, William Sydney Porter, the explorer Adolphus W. Greely, William Rufus Shafter, Fitzhugh Lee, Earl Van Dorn and James T. Longstreet. Nimitz added the hotel’s steamboat-shaped superstructure around 1888. After several ownership changes, the hotel closed in the fall 1963 and was sold to the nonprofit Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Naval Museum on September 22, 1964.

Fredericksburg has done a remarkable job in documenting the life and time of its most famous citizen.  The National Museum of the Pacific War is remarkable.  I could spend an hour just looking at the plaques of the ships on the wall between the old Nimitz Museum and the Pacific War museum.  One of the highlights is an entire Japanese mini-sub on display.

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