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Named after early Carthage settler and long-time hardware dealer A. M. Drake, this four story former hotel building also included a restaurant, beauty parlor, barber shop and office spaces that were used by the Carthage Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations. Designed by Kansas City architectural firm Shepard and Wiser, the hotel cost $200,000 to construct over the course of 1920-22. Marian Wright Powers wrote her daughter, Marian Louisa Powers on October 11, 1920, that "today was the cornerstone laying of the new hotel, The Drake, and of course they had a big to do, and a good crowd... they had a clear, warm day, and nice weather." (Letter in collection of Powers Museum Archives.)

  • Interior view of lobby of the Drake Hotel set up for a dinner.
  • Early metal sign from Drake Hotel on display at the Powers Museum.
  • Postcard of Drake Hotel, circa 1935-40.
  • Digitization on CLIO is part of Powers Museum's "Digital Carthage" project in honor of Carthage's 175th Anniversary Celebration (March 28, 2017 through March 27, 2018).
  • Funding for the Walking in the Wards tour was made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Spring 2017.

When opened, rooms cost $1.50 to $2.50 a night and the restaurant was used by travelers and local citizens for daily dining and special functions such as club meetings, reunions and national sales meetings hosted by local businesses. For several years the Carthage Chamber of Commerce maintained its office at this location.

By the 1940s and 1950s, the hotel's Sunday chicken dinners (sold for $1.00) were well known in the region. Owned and operated by various hotel chains including Wyman Hotels, the Drake closed in the 1970s and became care facility. Restored in 2006, the structure now houses senior apartments and the lobby has been returned to its original 1920s appearance.

Hansford, Michele. Images of America: Carthage, Missouri. Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2000.

Utter, Wade and Hansford, Michele. Images of America: Carthage, Missouri 1940 - 1990. Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2013.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Interior photoograph in Powers Museum Collection.

Sign in Powers Museum Collection.

Postcard Powers Museum exhibit image.