John “Georgetown” Bassard
In 1920, the Jefferson Hotel hired 19-year-old John Bassard for a bellboy position. Over time, Bassard became the Bell Captain and stayed with the Jefferson until it was demolished in 1968. During his employment he witnessed a murder and assisted famous guests like Jack Dempsey, Eleanor Roosevelt and Robert Kennedy.
Thanks to his kind nature and association with the Jefferson Hotel, Bassard was well known to S.C. state legislators. Senator Edgar Brown gave Bassard his nickname “Georgetown” and many, including Speaker of the House Sol Blatt, considered him a good friend. Following his death in 1991, the General Assembly passed a resolution honoring Bassard.
- Walker Local History Digital Collections
This photograph is from the Russell Maxey collection.