Our lovely home, now a Cape Girardeau bed and breakfast, was built in 1891 by Captain Henry L. Hunze. It is believed the construction was partially influenced by the builder’s remembrance of castles in his homeland of Germany.
This historic inn was one of the earliest homes built in an area initially referred to as "Lorimier Hill." This name was used during the Civil War by the Northern Forces who constructed Fort A. This area of Cape Girardeau, the northern portion of Lorimier and Bellevue Street, became known as "Silk Stocking Row" during the 1890-1910 period due to the size and elegance of the homes being constructed. An early photograph indicates the present restoration and preservation is faithful to the original architecture. The house is a symmetrical two-ranked plan with steep-pitched hipped roof, central facade hipped-roof dormer, and hipped side dormers. The front facade gables, also known as "paired gables" and cutaway bay windows are distinctly Queen Anne elements. The west front gable recalls a Queen Anne penchant for towers, while the east gable has a decorated verge board which is associated with the Gothic Revival style. The stained glass, wood floors, woodwork, windows, and carved staircase are all original to the house. The ceiling stencils throughout the house are reproductions of designs found during restoration. The home sits on a sandstone foundation. It is a Registered Historic Landmark.
Henry Hunze was a Civil War veteran. He enlisted in the Union Army on September 10, 1861. After serving in three major battles, and suffering several illnesses, he was discharged on September 27, 1864. After the war, he chose to live in Cape Girardeau. Hunze was a respected businessman. He operated as a coal, ice, and sand dealer. His businesses were housed in what was the Riverview Hotel. A man of many talents, Hunze also operated a pottery business. The large, concrete urn in the front yard was made, and placed, by Henry over 100 years ago.
Aside from being a beautifully designed and built house, it was the perfect home for the growing Hunze family. Henry and his wife, Hermine, raised their four lovely children, Hilmer, Alma, Thelka, and Clarence in this wonderful home. While reminiscing about her childhood home at 312 Bellevue Street, Thelka Hunze Kontos recalled it was one of the few homes in town to have an indoor bathroom as far back as 1893. She said they also had the first home telephone in the Cape.
The Hunze home was given to the youngest son, Clarence "Brick" Hunze. He and his wife, Emma, raised their two daughters here. The family sold the home in 1955.
The home was established as a bed and breakfast in 1993 and has hosted guests from around the world. It is highly rated three diamonds by AAA Travel and is an inspected member of Bed & Breakfast Inns of Missouri.
We look forward to sharing the history and the beauty of our lovely home, Bellevue Bed and Breakfast, with you.
~ Information provided in part by Images of the Past in the City of Roses. ~