– The Innkeeper
Riverwood Suites is located in the historic Baltimore Building in downtown Apalachicola.
The building has a rich and interesting history. According to local historians, this is the story:
It was back around the turn of the 20th century. There was this relatively untapped resource under the waters in the Bays. Apalachicola was sitting on a “gold mine”: oysters! But the locals had not perfected a fast way of “shucking” or opening the oysters. There had to be a faster way in order to market a ready-to-eat product. The Northerners knew how to do it — Chesapeake bay was proof of that — but Apalachicola was so isolated.
Then it happened. The Railway was finally completed, connecting Apalachicola to the Northeastern States. Winter migration was now possible and there was a group of seasoned oyster shuckers and catchers that were willing to come temporarily from Baltimore, Maryland to get this industry started. They would teach the locals how to shuck oysters, but they needed a place to stay. The Baltimore Building was built in 1908 to provide lodging for husband and wife teams with 16 small rooms upstairs and more downstairs. Tiny rooms, no insulation, community bathrooms, nothing fancy for such an important group. Nevertheless they came and Apalachicola Oysters became famous.
For a hundred years, very little improvements were ever made on this structure. Eventually it was used for storage and finally vacated. After two years of extensive restoration, the Baltimore has come back to life!
We have attempted to maintain the flavor of the building and change just enough to make it a pleasure to stay here while you visit our area. The original metal is still on the building. The windows were restored to their original size and locations. We added a surrounding deck so that you can enjoy the downtown view along with other guests from just outside your room. The rooms have features you are bound to enjoy. We made some of the furnishings from parts of this and other historic buildings. Now there are only four guestrooms upstairs, in the same space as the original 16, as well as one guestroom downstairs. We even insulated it this time and, oh yes, now you don’t have to share your bathroom.
– The Innkeeper