|Charles Leaming Tutt|
On April 6, 1909, just seventy-five days after Charles Tutt's death, the Los Angeles Herald reported the following:
This was followed on September 20, 1909 with the following:
And on October 6, 1909:
The Van Nuys was a nice hotel, but it was very different from the Hotel Del Coronado.
The Van Nuys was downtown, the Del was at the seashore. The Van Nuys had no grounds to speak of, the Del had lawns, beaches, and even a polo field. Why, after staying at the Van Nuys in early October did Josephine Tutt decide to go to the Hotel Del Coronado for a week later that same month? History does not reveal the answer. Interestingly, on November 25, 1909, Josephine Tutt and party were back at the Van Nuys:
Before we move on, let's take a closer look at Mrs. Tutt's invoice from the Hotel Del Coronado:
We see that there were three people in the party, Mrs. Tutt and two unnamed guests. They stayed in Rooms 342-343. They were charged $112.00 for the use of the rooms for 7 days; that equates to a daily rate of $16.00. At that time, the daily rate also included three meals in any of the hotel's restaurants. They had wine or mineral water charges on the 23rd and on the 28th - $1.00 each time. Since the room was only $16.00 the $1.00 charge had to be a total charge, and not $1.00 for an individual drink. In my collection I have some menus from the Hotel Del Coronado during this period. Coffee or tea was included with meals, liquor was not. So the charges may have been for drinks with their meals or they had drinks sent to their rooms. Since the total was only $2.00 it does not look like Mrs. Tutt or her party were big drinkers.
Mrs. Tutt apparently got a cash advance against her bill twice, for $25.00 each time - once on the 23rd and once on the 27th. They didn't need cash for meals or drinks unless they chose to leave the hotel. It was probably just for what my Mother used to call "pin money," or my Dad called "walking around cash."
They did have bar charges of $.75 on the 23rd - they day they arrived. They probably needed a good drink after traveling to the hotel.
They also had newsstand charges: $.65 on the 25th and $2.00 for the San Diego Tribune to be delivered to them each day of their stay.
Lastly there was an "Express" charge from the hotel pharmacy on the 26th for a total of $1.20, making their grand total of charges for the week's stay $168.65. Notice - no tax. The government had not started taxing everything that moves (and many things that don't) in 1909. To put these charges into perspective, the average weekly salary per wage earner in the US during that period was $10.06. Adjusted for inflation, the total charge of $168.65 in 1909 would equate to a total charge of $4,759.70 today. That means almost $5,000.00 for rooms and meals for three people for one week. So you can see, Mrs. Tutt and her party were living very well at the Hotel Del Coronado.
Along with her frequent trips to California, newspapers reported her returning now and then to her home in Colorado Springs. There were many occurrences of Josephine Tutt either entertaining or being entertained during 1910 and 1911. That's why what happened next was such a shock to family and friends:
TUTT - (at) Coronado, California, March 6th, JOSEPHINE THAYER, widow of Charles Leaming Tutt and daughter of the late M. Russell Thayer.
Josephine Thayer Tutt died suddenly on March 6, 1912 at Coronado, California. She was fifty-four years old. More details were provided by the Los Angeles Times on March 12, 1912:
In all the mentions of the death of Mrs. Tutt I was able to find, the place of death was just listed as "Coronado." I was not able to find out whether she was staying at the hotel when she died or somewhere else on Coronado.
Josephine Thayer Tutt was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs with the rest of her family:
What about the rest of the family? William Thayer Tutt died on November 20, 1917 in Colorado Springs. He was only twenty-four years old.
Charles L. Tutt, Jr. was the only one of Josephine's children to make it to adulthood. He died November 1, 1961 at the age of 72.
The Tutt family had always been major contributors to Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Today on the campus there is the there is the Charles L. Tutt Library - a hub for research, learning, and intellectual community, providing welcoming and inclusive space for students to learn, grow, and thrive at Colorado College.
In addition, in 1959 Charles Tutt Jr, donated the Tutt family home at 1205 N. Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs to Colorado College. It is now the Tutt Alumni House for the College:
Josephine Thayer Tutt and her family have all gone to their reward, but luckily we can still enjoy the Hotel Del Coronado today and for a long time to come.
May Josephine Thayer Tutt and her family rest in peace.