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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Baltimore's Hawaiian Room at the Emerson Hotel - MAJOR DEVELOPMENT!!!
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Baltimore's Hawaiian Room at the Emerson Hotel - MAJOR DEVELOPMENT!!!
Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2953
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-06-08 09:41 am   Permalink

tiki sleuths kick ass!!!


[ This Message was edited by: Johnny Dollar on 2004-06-08 10:11 ]


 
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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2004-06-18 2:52 pm   Permalink

I got some good ideas of where to start doing some in depth research from a guy at the Baltimore Architectural Preservation Society (or something like that) He suggested the best way to start is to scan the telephone directories on micro film starting with the year you know the place was still in operation (1957-1958 - if I calculated correctly this is around the time my dad would have gone there when he was 14-15.) and work your way back to pinpoint the year it first appeared. Then you can begin browsing any local magazines or newspapers in search for documentation - reviews, articles, pictures (hopefully). Worse comes to worse you can just hope to find an add in the telephone book and not just a one line reveal of the phone number. I'll keep everyone informed on any new developments!
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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2004-09-21 6:01 pm   Permalink

Thanks to a follow-up with Sabu the Coconut Boy he was able to confirm that the postcard posted earlier in this thread is not the Hawaiian Room at the Emerson Hotel...

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=9160&forum=1

More research is in order!
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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2005-02-20 9:41 pm   Permalink

Okay, so the unadulterated anger over losing that damn mug on Ebay has subsided...another is up now but I'm not gonna get my hopes up but I digress.

All the negative energy that spilled out of my pores put me back on track in search of concrete clues of what was the Hawaiian Room. A couple weeks after my rant an article ran locally about a man who asked for or stole menus from all of Baltimore's restaurants for the last 40 years...I've contacted him in hopes of locating a menu from the Hawaiian Room...he's gonna call me back Monday to see if he has one, that's over 400 menus to look through so I'm gonna give him some time! I told the guy outright that I wasn't looking to buy the menu or break up what is a pretty amazing collection (in my humble opinion it would be great to have the collection donated to the Pratt Library! An amazing source of reference - tiki or not!) I'm just looking for a color copy!

I've contacted every media source affiliated with Baltimore and got a stack of articles relating to the Emerson Hotel - the demise, the auction of the property, the owner unhappy about the final bid in the auction and buying it back, the hotel auctioned off again and finally getting a respectable price - $503,000 for the property and over $300,000 in back taxes!, the auction of the contents of the hotel, the demolition of the hotel and the mourning of those who had fond memories of the grand hotel. It all makes for interesting reading but a mere mention of the Hawaiian Room appeared in only one article in the stack...an article that I already posted in this topic. I've contacted Baltimore Magazine who weren't any help...they've only been around for 20 years. I've contacted the City Paper, the free alternative paper, and they've yet to respond. I wouldn't be real surprised if I never hear anything from them. I contacted the Baltimore Sun and got the run around but hopefully the reporter I contacted had a kind word on my behalf to the librarian who may have the key to tracking down articles by specific dates. She's out of the office until Wednesday and the message clearly stated that the newspaper's archives were only available to staff writers and other journalists but I may have an in on a technicality...I do work for a TV news department...

Of note - I also joined a local Baltimore forum and tossed the question up to those who could approach it as outsiders looking in and gave me ideas on where to look next...a lot that I never would have thought of...

Also, someone made mention that the Emerson Hotel was immortalized, if you could call it that, in a Bob Dylan song called "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll." The song is based on a tragic event that happened at the hotel on February 8, 1963 when a rich 24 year old kid named William D. Zantzinger hit Hattie Carroll, a 51 year old African American cocktail waitress and mother of 11, over the head with a cane. She died hours later. To make a long story short the bastard only got 6 months in jail for manslaughter and Dylan wrote the song in protest to what seems like a slap on the wrist for the son of a wealthy businessman. Kinda interesting I thought. Hmmm, if I go back in the microfiche to February 1963, would I find interior shots of the hotel? Would I possibly see a neon marquee behind a bunch of cops inspecting a crime scene that reads "Hawaiian Room?" Could Hattie Carroll have worked as a waitress at the Hawaiian Room? Could there have been follow-up stories about her co-worker's with them posing in photographs inside the Hawaiian Room? Okay...before this starts sounding anymore like an episode of "In Search Of," I will end this post.

Notation added 3/22/05 - I was on my way to work today and heard "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" performed by Michael Rose - on the Reggae station! That makes it all more ironic... I've listened to and collected reggae music for nearly 20 years, I even used to do a weekly 3 hour reggae program on a local college radio station...and now, my love for reggae and my quest for tiki have suddenly merged!

When I discover more dear readers you'll be the first to know...off the record, on the Q.T. and very hush-hush...


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JohnTiki



Aloha from the enchanted Pi Yi Grotto in exotic Bel Air Maryland!

[ This Message was edited by: johntiki on 2005-03-22 11:43 ]


 
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ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2005-02-21 12:19 pm   Permalink

'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll' is one of Bob Dylan's better known songs - it appears on his greatest hits CD, and I have seen him perform the song live several times. It is a very powerful song - the lyrics can be found here .... http://bobdylan.com/songs/hattie.html

I never knew that the caning incident in the song happened at the Emerson Hotel. I wonder whether it was done in the Emerson's Hawaiian Room, or in another ballroom on the hotel property. If Hattie Carroll was struck in the Hawaiian Room, it would certainly qualify as perhaps the most notorious incident to ever take place in a tiki room. But because Zantzinger was drinking bourbon and ginger ale, and not some rum-based tropical drink, I'm wondering if the incident might have happened in some other room.

Zantzinger was arrested that night - but for disorderly conduct, not for murder. He was drunk, acting belligerently, and had been hitting several people with his cane all night long, and that is why the police were called in. It wasn't until Hattie Carroll died the following morning that he was charged with homicide.

The Washington Post did a story about William Zantzinger back in 1991. He was in trouble then for collecting rent from poor families - the housing was in terrible condition, and Zantzinger didn't even own the property, he lost it in foreclosure years previously when he did not pay property taxes.

A version of that article can be found at the following website (scroll down to the first post in English) It provides much detail on the incidents in the Emerson Hotel on February 8, 1963. It is strange that the incident took place during a ball to benefit crippled children, but ended up with the murder of a woman.
http://www.maggiesfarm.it/talking214.htm

Another good article on William Zantzinger, Hattie Carroll, the Emerson Hotel incident, and the Dylan song appeared just a few months ago in Mother Jones magazine ....
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1329/is_6_29/ai_n6336385

I wonder if one reason that Emerson Hotel information is tough to find is the notoriety of the Carroll/Zantzinger incident. Sometimes when bad things happen, and a nation's view of a location is based on that single incident, people try to erase those bad memories from their lives, and act suspiciously of people who show up and express strong interest in things which remind them of the hidden past.

Vern



[ This Message was edited by: ikitnrev on 2005-02-21 18:24 ]


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ookoo lady
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2004
Posts: 779
Posted: 2005-02-21 7:10 pm   Permalink

I just posted a "wanted" ad on craigslist.com (Baltimore area) for anything from the Emerson Hotel Hawaiian Room. If anyone responds, I'll let you know. Good luck in your quest.

 
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puamana
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 291
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2005-02-22 08:45 am   Permalink

johntiki,

I have a menu from the Hawaiian Room, if you want to PM me your mailing address, I'll be happy to send you some color copies. Here's a few pics :





 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2953
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2005-02-22 08:49 am   Permalink

that's beautiful puamana, thanks for posting! is there a date or any info on the backside?

mahalo,
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11104
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2005-02-22 11:24 am   Permalink

Interesting Tiki cross-pollination: The Tiki on the cover is similar to the design that Ren Clark's Polynesian Village used, based on Milan Guanko's Tikis.

 
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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2005-02-22 12:38 pm   Permalink

Puamana, that is without a doubt the single most important discovery thus far! I am absolutely floored - I gasped out loud and my hands were shaking when I scrolled down to the pic! I would do whatever it takes to get color copies of the menu! I sent you a PM! Thanks so much for filling in yet another piece of the puzzle - this has revitalized my belief that there is more out there! Puamana, you have made my week!



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JohnTiki



Aloha from the enchanted Pi Yi Grotto in exotic Bel Air Maryland!

[ This Message was edited by: johntiki on 2005-02-22 12:40 ]


 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2005-02-22 1:00 pm   Permalink

take a look at that good advice right in the center of the menu:

"Why not start a collection of Authentic Polynesian Mugs?"

Can't beat that!


 
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tikicar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 19, 2005
Posts: 106
From: York, Pa.
Posted: 2005-02-23 04:29 am   Permalink

Hi John, I assume you saw this. Good Luck
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=2001&item=3959525026&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

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Turbogod
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 14, 2002
Posts: 1219
Posted: 2005-02-23 04:36 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-02-23 04:29, tikicar wrote:
Hi John, I assume you saw this. Good Luck
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=2001&item=3959525026&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW


Yeah, what kills me is that the seller's location is within 3 miles of my house.


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2792
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2005-02-23 11:48 am   Permalink

Nice Menu! (I knew if anyone had one of those it would be puamana)

Sven is right. That tiki on the menu cover matches the logo used by Ren Clark's Polynesian Village in Texas. Here's one of my dinner plates for comparison:





Sabu
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badmojo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 23, 2003
Posts: 666
Posted: 2005-02-23 12:01 pm   Permalink

Wow, that South Seas Deity mug got some heavy use.

 
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