- Associated Press - Sunday, January 15, 2017

CAMBRIDGE, Ill. (AP) - A small Cambridge house built in 1907 is being re-created with all kinds of elements from the former Jumer's Castle Lodge in Bettendorf.

Even before he owned the house, David Powell started buying large pieces - massive door frames, stained glass windows and imposing gas lanterns from the sides of the buildings.

“I didn’t know when I was collecting that this (house) would be available,” he said. “I was just collecting and putting in storage.”

Mr. Powell said his family went to Jumer’s for Sunday brunches and Mother’s Day, and he really noticed the old hotel when he started driving. His parents honeymooned there, he said, and he surprised them with a stay there for their 30th wedding anniversary. But the building had gone downhill by then, he said.

“It was a shame,” he said. “I paid dearly for the room.”

He said he tried to find a partner and save the hotel, attending a Bettendorf city council meeting to discuss his wish. It was announced last December that demolition would happen in 90 days; it wasn’t until August when it was finally taken down.

Russell Construction bought the property before it was demolished. Mr. Powell said he thinks the lodge closed because it was too hard to maintain. He cited the intricate wood carvings and stucco interior.

“The German cuisine was kind of different,” he said, “but the cinnamon rolls were good.”

The very first pieces Mr. Powell picked up from the lodge were two hallway sconces. He said he believed people were storming the collection, and items weren’t selling cheap.

“I wanted everything, but I didn’t get anything, hardly,” he said.

He acquired 10 or 12 paintings from the old hotel, recalling a conversation he had while a student at Western Illinois University about creepy old paintings in hotels.

“I say the eyes follow you,” he said with a grin.

He has a large “Jumer’s” sign tucked away in the basement, which he said could be cool to hang in the stairway. He has 26 stained glass windows with plans to resize windows and turn them into casement windows that crank open.

He said he wants to redo the house’s exterior in stucco and would like to put in second-floor dormer windows. He’s even toying with the idea of a tower - although he said he would want to take care about how it connected to the house so it would not look like “something just stuck in the yard.”

Mr. Powell plans to convert large gas lanterns from the lodge into electric ones for outdoor use.

“I’ve got just enough for what I want to do,” he said.

Mr. Powell has a construction background, having worked for Double S Construction of Geneseo. And he has a lot of plans.

“It’s going to take a lot of years,” he said.

Mr. Powell said he holds two jobs, not full-time, and said some of his coworkers have given him memorabilia from the former Jumer's Castle Lodge, such as matchbook covers.

“People from work, they give me crap about it, but I don’t think deep down they mean it,” he said.

“Now that I’ve got my house, that’s my pride and job. That’s my hobby,” he said. “I want to do a lot to it.”


Source: Rock Island Argus, https://bit.ly/2iBwIGL


Information from: The Rock Island Argus, https://www.qconline.com/index.shtml



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