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Texas | Architecture | Rooms with a Past

ROOMS WITH A PAST - TEXAS HOTELS BUILT BEFORE 1950:

THE HOTEL BLAZIMAR
Taylor, Texas

by John Troesser
Blazimar Hotel Taylor Texas
The Blazimar (c. 1943)
TE Postcard Archives
The card is unused, but the print reads:
Here you will find: Good Beds - Fine Food - Friendly Hospitality in a truly great Community that you will want to visit again and again.

Our Coffee Shop is Always Comfortably Cool
Blazimar Hotel Taylor Tx
The Blazimar today
TE Photo, October 2000

The vaguely Arab-South American sounding name is actually an amalgam of three family names. They were investors/owners Howard Bla (nd), A. J. Zil (ker), and T. W. Mar (se). (Correction: "Those of us born and raised in Taylor know that the Blazimar was named after Bland, Zizinia and Marse. We are unsure of who the Zilkers might be as they or unknown to Taylorites." - Ella Jez, March 10, 2009) We are happy to report that the building is still standing in Taylor, and has recently been sold.

If you can read the front window in the postcard, the Blazimar also served as the Greyhound Bus Station for Taylor. Las Lomas Hotel in Junction also served as the town's bus station, and you'll have to admit, it was a pretty practical arrangement. The arrival of a late night bus would keep the night staff alert in anticipation of the midnight coach from Brady (of course it did) and the weary bus traveler merely had to walk from the bus seat to the front desk.

The impressive (for the time) four-story hotel was fireproof, had steam heat and ceiling fans in each of its 90 rooms. The rooms were furnished with "sanidown" mattresses, a company whose name said it all in the trade-name idiom of the day. Taylor used a lot of the area's cotton in making mattresses for the military during WW II. The mill in Eldorado, Texas provided blankets. When we find out who made the pillows, we'll let you know.

A ballroom on the second floor of the Blazimar was used for social gatherings, the kind they rarely have today. It was the site of dinners, dances, receptions, and reunions. Being a bus station as well, there was always the possibility of a young drifter getting off the bus and meeting a debutante whose "daddy grew cotton." This was the kind of plot that they made movies about in the 30s and 40s, but might've actually happened in Taylor, Texas.

In 1920, The St. Louis Browns wintered in Taylor. They roomed at the Blazimar Hotel and practiced on what is now Memorial Football Field. It was an era when a wintering Yankee baseball player could fall in love with a southern debutante that had just broken her engagement (see last paragraph) to a drifter who had just gotten off the night bus from Brady. We believe Randolph Scott and Hedy Lamar were in that one.

Many Northern teams took advantage of the mild winters by staying in Southern Hotels. Waxahachie's Rogers Hotel was one of these, as well as the Aumont in Seguin.

The Blazimar is keeping its secrets well. We tried to uncover stories of ghosts, murders, suicides, unrequited love, former employees that became war heroes or even people who skipped out without paying their bill, but we came up with nothing.


John Troesser
January 2001


More Rooms with a Past


Our special thanks to Taylor Librarian Bonnie Brooks who researched the Blazimar for our readers and included in her email that her information came from the following sources:
The Taylor Daily Press newspaper dated 6/30/38, and information from Our Town.


Forum
  • Subject: Blazimar Hotel
    Those of us born and raised in Taylor know that the Blazimar (spelling correction) was named after Bland, Zizinia and Marse. We are unsure of who the Zilkers might be as they or unknown to Taylorites. By the way, I checked the Taylor Public Library archives to be certain of my information and the spelling of The Blazimar. Thank you, Ella Jez, March 10, 2009

  • Subject: Blazimar Hotel Story
    Dear TE, My grandparents (Paul and Eureka Ferguson) managed the Blazimar hotel in Taylor, Texas, in the late 1950s and I spent several summers there. I well remember James the elevator man and even helped as his special assistant sometimes when he was busy with some chore my grandmother thought up. He taught me how to ease the lever down to stop exactly even with the floor so the guest doesn't trip.

    Your reminiscence page brought back such a flood of old memories it makes me eager to write an article for your magazine. Meanwhile, [here is] my 2004 short story, set in 1958 at the Blazimar. "Waiting for Elvis" is fiction, but based on actual events. It won second place in the Denver Woman's Press Club ---- In-House Writer's Contest in 2005! - Shere Chamness, August 22, 2007

  • Subject: Blazilmar
    I grew up in Taylor also and I remember the Blazimar Hotel very well. I have a brother that worked across the street at the Blazimar garage as a mechanic. I remember coming home from boot camp from San Diego and arriving on a greyhound bus. - Bennie Mitchell, Amarillo Texas, March 18, 2006

  • I RAN ACROSS A PICTURE SLIDE OF A BILLBOARD FOR THE BLAZIMAR HOTEL. I AM NOT SURE WHAT ROAD IT WAS ON BUT THESE PHOTO'S ALL DATE BACK TO THE MID TO LATE 30's. ALSO A BILLBOARD OF STAR TIRES IN TAYLOR. I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR THE TOWNS ALL MY SLIDES CAME FROM, I BET THEY ARE FROM TAYLOR. MAYBE I WILL GET A CHANCE TO GO TO TAYLOR. - TIM, September 30, 2004

  • I grew up in Taylor and us kids would go to the hotel to play pinball on those old nickel machines. I also remember that there was a cranky old man named James who was the elevator operator who would run us off if he thought we had been playing pinball too long. Also for the longest time the coffee shop was the only place to get something to eat after 9pm and they had a great bowl of chili. - Lee Crowell, Taylor Duck Class of 1971, May 11, 2002

  • Reference to Lee Crowell' s letter concerning "james"..
    I ran across the poor man while working in law enforcement. "James' was sick and living out of a car. I found him one cold winter night sleeping in a car on West Second street in Taylor. He was having chest pains. I called EMS and they took him to the hospital. A few years later I came across this man in a rest home in Taylor. I too, like Lee, remember him ("James") when I was a kid. I played a few games of pinball there myself ! I also remember that the railroad housed their people there and one night there was a rail strike and there was concern of hostilities in the rail yard across the street from the Hotel. Thank God nothing developed from that. Late nights, the Blazimar was the only place to get pretty good food too! There where a few fights in the bar that was on the south end of the building toward the rail yard where the rail personnel and the general citizenry would mingel. - James Rowland/Taylor Duck class of 1971 July 14, 2005

  • More Rooms with a Past
    See Taylor, Texas | Taylor Hotels

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