Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Alligator Hunting in Richmond

Jefferson Hotel's Legendary Lizards Remembered

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Statue of Jefferson and an Alligator in the lobby.

Yes Virginia, there were lizards in the lobby. Sometime around 1906 to 1907, Alligators were placed in the marble ponds surrounding the statue of the purchaser of Louisiana. Unlike the Peabody ducks, gators didn't quite catch on as lobby animals. The last of the Jefferson gators, 'Old Pompey,' died in 1948.

Tradition has it that the gator population was kept alive by Richmonders who bought baby alligators as pets in Florida. When the animals became too large for Mom's comfort they would be quietly added to the hotel's collection.

Today the gators are remembered in bronze in various places around the hotel.

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3 comments:

Fool4Christ said...

We absolutely love the Jefferson, Bob! I never knew any of this information about the gators though! We love taking high tea there as well as gorging ourselves on their fantastic Sunday Brunch feast! And of course gawking at the beautifully appointed interior and the old-world facade and courtyard. What fun it would be for Emmaline, HR and I to meet Pam and her mom there sometime!

Bob K. said...

You really should plan to meet there. Did you know that if you go down to the Palm Court there is a little history exhibit by the staircase (that supposedly is the model for the staircase in 'Gone with the Wind)'

That is where you can learn more about the alligators and other interesting facts about the hotel.

Fool4Christ said...

Thanks, Bob. Interesting. :)