Monday, May 12, 2014

Some "New" Information for Our Historic Archives

Running an historic hotel means one gets excited about finding out more things about the beginnings of the hotel.  Imagine how excited I was this morning to learn that Nelson Dionne had dropped off yet another "gem" to us -- a booklet detailing just why people should invest in "Salem's New Modern Hotel", to be erected by the people of Salem, Mass.

Several interesting "facts" that I learned in reading this multi-paged booklet are:

* The hotel was planned to be sited on the corner of Central and Front Streets.  That obviously changed, and now we are curious about what happened with the original plan.

UPDATE:  After posting this blog I received the following email from Jim McAllister who clearly knows more about the history of the Hawthorne Hotel than I do.

Hi Juli.. That site was abandoned for the Common based primarily on exposure to light.. three sides get sun at some point during the day, the 4th looks over the beautiful, airy Common. Also taken into account were the location on the main through road - 1A - near the central biz/museum district, and not too far from the train depot (though further than the Front Street site.  Hope this helps.. came right out of the SEN  article announcing the location. Jim

* The hotel was planned to have seven shops on the ground floor -- that too changed.

* This booklet clearly reinforced our knowledge that Frank Poor was the leader of this project, and that he clearly needed a place for people visiting his business (the Hygrade Incandescent Light Company which later morphed in to other named companies such as Sylvania, and Osram) to stay.  Here is a link to some more detailed history of that business Hygrade Electric history

* The drawings of the hotel showed two flags hanging out front, but no flag on the roof of the hotel.  However, in photos that we have in the hotel, it was clear that a very large flag was erected on the roof at the opening.

To enhance the legibility of these images, click on them so that they will be enlarged:

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did.

And of course, I hope to see you here.


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