Go Pacific!

By Cheryl Poynor

The 160-year-old building first designated as the Pacific Hotel stands today as Briody Enterprises, a real estate office at 501 W. Main St. in Genoa.

The building was declared a historical site in 1972 by the DeKalb County Historical Society.

As early as 1928, the site might have been a stagecoach stopover on the Chicago-Geneva trail. It is sometimes referred to as the old stagecoach building.

New York native Thomas Madison found the plot of land in 1843. He built the one-story house, which at the time was 62 by 16 feet in size.

Shortly after the erection of the house, Thomas sold the land to Horatio N. Perkins.

Perkins added another story and used the building as a hotel.

The hotel had only a few rooms, but is said to have been a popular, classy place to stay.

“Rumor has it that former president Ulysses S. Grant and Al Capone stayed at the hotel,” said Rick Duellman, vice president of Briody Enterprises.

At the turn of the century, the hotel went out of business and was taken over by C.D. Schoonmaker, publisher of the Weekly Genoa Republican. Schoonmaker ran a printing press in the building until 1967. At that time, the second floor was used to house the Schoonmaker family.

After the fall of the Republican, the building was modified into an apartment complex.

By the time Briody Enterprises purchased the building in 2000, the apartment building was in poor shape, Duellman said.

“It was really in great despair,” Duellman said. “By the road it was headed on, it was probably going to be torn down.”

Duellman said the foundation was crumbling and the company was interested in rehabilitating the building. Duellman said Briody Enterprises thought it would have been a shame to lose the building, and said he feels proud to have been able to restore it.

The remodeling took almost two years. Briody Enterprises wanted the building to have an atmosphere similar to when it first was built. To do this, crews built around the main wooden beams that were installed in 1843.

The stairway that once led up to hotel rooms still remains. A dimly- lit chandelier is reminiscent of one that may have existed in the hotel.

“I am proud to say that we rescued one of the oldest buildings in DeKalb County,” Duellman said.