Born in 1883, Beatrice Rose Endicott was the seventh daughter of Cornelius Endicott III, a chairman of U.S. Steamship Company which owned various ships including S.S. Columbia. As she grew up, she began to have admiration for Harrison Hightower III, a business rival and enemy of her own father.
On New Year's Eve of 1899, Hightower was cursed by the African idol Shiriki Utundu and disappeared from the elevator. Beatrice was looking at Hotel Hightower from her attic window at the time, where she witnessed a green explosion coming from Hightower's penthouse. Despite this, however, she didn't believe the curse of Shiriki Utundu.
Years passed by, and Hotel Hightower was closed down and fell into disrepair. In 1908, Endicott decided to save Hotel Hightower as a precious cultural landmark of New York City. One day, while sketching outside the abandoned hotel, Beatrice met a man called Archie, who appeared to know a lot about the hotel. The two continued meeting on a regular basis ever since then.
During the construction of the S.S. Columbia from 1909 to 1912, Beatrice assisted her father with the interior design of the ship's facilities and would be the one to christen the ship on its test launch in 1911.
In 1911, following the test launch of S. S. Columbia, Beatrice suggested to her father that since the ship would bring a lot of tourists to the area, the family could expand the hotel business by purchasing Hotel Hightower. When her father noted that the land on which the hotel was built was in dispute, Beatrice suggested (based on what Archie told her) that he could purchase all the deeds, but in secret, which would give the family ownership of the land. Beatrice wanted to tell her father about Archie, but Archie asked her not to mention him to her father.
In 1912, the Endicott family had been able to purchase the land, but rather than re-open Hotel Hightower as Beatrice intended, her father planned to tear it down and have a new hotel built on top of it, much to Beatrice's horror.
She established the New York City Preservation Society, keeping it a secret from her father, and started planning tours of Hotel Hightower. However, Manfred Strang, a reporter for the New York Globe-Telegraph, was against that idea, saying that the hotel was cursed. Endicott was skeptical of Strang's claims, not only because she didn't believe in curses, but because Strang was a reporter for her father's newspaper, so felt the claim was more him being a mouthpiece for her father. Endicott and Strang explored Hotel Hightower together.
As the two explored, Endicott routinely teased Strang for his superstition before the two found a small office in a hidden shaft, which they deduced belonged to Smelding, Harrison Hightower's valet. In said office, Beatrice found Archie's hat & coat on a hat stand, implying that Archie & Smelding were one and the same! During their explorations, they heard various mysterious voices and Strang soon realized that one voice was Hightower's himself. He took Endicott's hand and they narrowly escaped the hotel. However, despite Strang's pleas, Endicott never changed her mind to stop the tours at the Hotel Hightower.