On This Date In Twin Cities History - February 3, 1869

The International Hotel in St. Paul circa 1856 (MHS)

On this date in 1869, the International Hotel in St. Paul burned to the ground.
Originally known as the Fuller House, the building was located at the northeast corner of Seventh and Jackson Streets.  The five-story brick structure was built by A.G. Fuller in 1856 at a cost of $110,000. For years it was considered the best hotel in the West.

On the night of the fire, flames broke out in the basement from a lamp in the laundry. A porter first noticed the fire and attempted unsuccessfully to put it out.  Word of the fire quickly spread throughout the building and guests were immediately evacuated into the streets on a bitterly cold and windy night.   More than two-hundred guests were staying at the hotel at the time of the fire. Some of the more notable patrons included attorney William G. LeDuc, Lt. Governor Thomas H. Armstrong and Dr. William W. Mayo.

The fire rapidly engulfed the entire structure burning it to the ground. All that remained after the smoke cleared was a portion of the building’s exterior brick walls.  In addition to the hotel, six to eight other buildings also caught fire, four of which were destroyed.

Although nearly every room of the hotel was occupied at the time of the fire, miraculously, no one was injured or killed.

Photo: The International Hotel in St. Paul circa 1856 (MHS)