Thursday, March 10, 2011

Those Places Thursday-Emporium, PA

My grandfather, Riley Murray, was that guy.  The one who was out and about, driving around town, at who-knows-what time in the morning.  He was the guy who knew when things were amiss.  He knew his town of Emporium, PA.  Apparently, as part of the Cameron County Historical Society project my grandmother worked on, he dictated information to her in order to record details about the early businesses and buildings in Emporium.  This post about hotels and restaurants will be a little dry unless you really have an interest in Emporium and want to gain some context if your ancestors lived there.  But I’m back to my amanuensis role and recording the notes here so that they will be available to the diligent search engines helping historians and genealogists alike.  A genealogical "pay it forward", if you will.

I will say, though, the reference to the “Bucket of Blood” Hotel really made me wish I could ask him some details.

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Hotels and Restaurants
Riley Murray, as told to Frances Murray (recorded sometime 1966-1973)

During Prohibition days, bootlegging was a wholesale thing.  The man who liked his drink took a chance and drank most anything.  We had several deaths in Emporium of men who drank rubbing alcohol.  They weren’t men from the wrong side of the tracks either.  Bootleggers wasn’t just a 1920s thing according to George Huntley’s book. [ed. note:  The Story of the Sinnemahone, published in 1936]    “Sinnemahone” was once used in a Cameron County village at camp meetings way back in the 1800s.

The hotels and saloons were always plentiful in Emporium and Cameron County. The first hotel built on the corner of 4th and Broad Street was called The Biddle House.   Don’t know who ran it, but Riley Warner built the Warner Hotel, as we all remember, in 1893.  My father was town policeman and then, as in later years, the police made the Warner lobby their stopping place.  My father and Mr. Warner became very good friends so when I was born in 1895, my father named me Riley after his friend, Riley Warner.  Hotel Warner and Parker Jackson, like the Broad Street railroad depot, are only memories.

Across the railroad track on Broad Street was the Cottage Hotel owned and run by Mr. and Mrs. Cummings.  It is now run by Doug Petty. 

The Commercial Hotel on Broad street was run by several people, but for the past 65 or more years was owned and run by Mr. and Mrs. Butler.  The later years the hotel has been run by their daughter, Mrs. Bea Barr. 

Sam McDonald ran a hotel on 4th Street where the coffee shop is now located.  Later he ran the Central Hotel on Allegany Avenue. Later Mr. Bonsteel ran the hotel, but about 55 years ago, a fire badly burned part of it.  It was later rebuilt into apartments, then later torn down.

The Donovan Hotel was on 4th Street where Leo Egan had his funeral parlors.  After the Egan building was burned down, the building was owned by Leo’s parents.  The first floor was furniture store and funeral parlor; second floor as living quarters.

The City Hotel was first owned by Billie McGee.  He sold to Mike Dolan.  The Dolan sons still carry on the hotel interest. 

The Cook House Hotel on Allegany Avenue was located where Tony Caruso has his home now. 

The first proprietor of the St. Charles Hotel was Charlie Fay, but the only two I can remember is Herman Maline and Lundeen Johnson, who were pardners in 1910 or 1912. It is only a parking lot now, across the street from Joe Olivetti’s store on Allegany Avenue.

Across the street, the American Hotel, owned and run by Dick Kelly.  Before he ran the hotel, Kelly ran a saloon on 4th Street where the Silco store is now.  After the saloon, Mr. Kelly ran Kelly’s Bakery where the Western Auto store is located.

Dick Loyd ran a saloon where Charlie’s Tavern is now.  Mr. Loyd had both legs cut off while working under an engine when he worked on the railroad.

A lot of old-timers will remember where the Bucket of Blood hotel was—between Swiderski’s store and the former Ford garage.  It was first run by Costello, then later by Mrs. Lyons.  [ed. Note:  one jotted note listed the Eagle Hotel associated with the names of Costello and Lyons, but no other information.  This might have been the real name of the hotel]  When Billy Dalyrimple peddled the newspapers, he and the kids that helped him used to sort the papers in the hotel lobby.  We can’t remember the real name of the hotel, yet for a year we lived next door over a candy store run by Mr. and Mrs. Morton.  Over 57 years ago we went to housekeeping in the upstairs apartment in the house next door to the hotel, so I can say it was some hotel.  

Mr. Huff ran a hotel where the Crescent is now located.

Across the street where the gas station is now, Mr. and Mrs. Shroup ran a boarding house.

Neil Cutler ran the Junction House.  It and the railroad station were a combined affair until the new depot was built in 1914. Most of Cutler’s trade was the railroader who could rent a room and eat their meals between their layover runs.  The public was served also.

Major Dowal’s restaurant and rooming house on Allegany Avenue and Portage Street was turned into the Ponderosa Hotel by new owners.  It burned.  The owners opened Ponderosa Tavern on 3rd a few years later.

Homestead Hotel began as the F.X. Blumle Bottling Works.  After the death of Mr. and Mrs. Blumle, his son Joe remodeled into what is now known as The Homestead Hotel.

Occidental Hotel stood where Jaspar Harris & Sons is now.

Creighton’s Barroom was on 4th Street where the Beacon Loan is now.

Alpine House (hotel) in Sterling was built years ago.  No longer standing.

Gardeau had a large hotel built back when lumbering was a big production in the 1890s.

Sizerville had the Sizerville Hotel.

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