Celebrating 200 Years of History in 2020

The Square, Newport’s Heart

Marker

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Additional Information

The Square, Newport’s Heart

Architectural Integrity Binds the Space

 

Post Civil War prosperity brought business, housing and industrial expansion to Newport.  Between 1871 and 1876, three-story brick buildings were erected on each corner of the square, anchoring the square and neighboring businesses.

 

The Miller Hotel – 1871

1 N. 2nd Street

 

Constructed by Capt. B. F. Miller, the property became the Graham Hotel in the 1890s. When the First National Bank purchased the property in 1914, it was occupied by two banks, a barber shop and a jewelry store.

The hotel, ca. 1900, when it was known as the Graham.  (Looking Northwest)

 

The Gantt Hotel – 1875

2 N. 2nd Street

Rebuilt by Jesse L. Gantt after an 1874 fire, this three story hotel stands to this day.  Over time, new ownership led to name changes:  Central, Mingle, Newporter, Newport, and now, Senior Apartments.

Competition between the Mingle and Graham hotels in the late 1890s led both to install central steam heat, running water and electric lighting. Consequently, these hotels plus railroad service attracted many groups to Newport.  One 1902 weekend convention of mechanics doubled the population of Newport!

The  hotel, ca. 1960, when it was known as the Newport.  The Towpath was the name of the restaurant. (Looking Northeast)

The Butz Building – 1875

1 S. 2nd Street

Jesse Butz, Sr. constructed the edifice and operated a dry goods and clothing store.  Subsequent businesses have filled the first floor while apartments have occupied the 2nd and 3rd floors.

The  Butz Building, ca. 1900. (Looking Southeast)

 

 

The Centennial Building – 1876

4 S. 2nd Street

 

The Centennial Building was so named because of its construction by dry goods dealer Philip Bosserman on the 100th anniversary of the Nation’s independence. For decades, the third story of the facility, with its 16 foot-high ceilings, was the largest public auditorium in the community and the stage for traveling productions, local thespians, conferences and politicians

The Centennial Building, left, ca. 1932. Center,

the former Miller/Graham Hotel.   (Looking Northwest)

 

For almost a century and a half these corner buildings have created structural and visual balance for Newport’s commercial district.

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Perry County Heritage Trail

The Perry County Bicentennial Committee is happy to be involved with the research and writing of much of the content of the history of Perry County. The committee has been instrumental in working with sponsors to procure and install the markers as shown in this Heritage Trail website.