October 15, 2021

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The previous Eagle Lodge/Hotel Weimer was at the time a symbol of luxurious in Lebanon

In 1821, the Eagle Lodge was developed at the southeast corner of 9th and Cumberland streets in downtown Lebanon. It was the very first neighborhood resort to be up to date with electric powered and other modernized features, and it earned a fine standing regionally and about the state of Pennsylvania as a luxurious lodging establishment.

In 1904, the Eagle Lodge was bought and renamed Hotel Weimer.

Just after currently being a image of luxurious and a social middle in Lebanon for perfectly around 100 decades, the landmark was razed in 1963.

A temporary background of hotels

Lodging vacationers in reason-crafted constructions became a organization starting off close to the eighth century BC in historic Greece and Rome. Lodgings that delivered lodging, meals, and other services were being constructed in resort cities, upcoming to thermal baths and along vacation routes connecting populated settlements. Most attendees had been traders, rich citizens, politicians and governmental officers. 

Traveler need for lodging in Europe and the Center East exploded with the distribute of Christianity as standard citizens undertook spiritual pilgrimages, generating a demand for lodging that monasteries and abbeys addressed as perfectly. The Center Ages also noticed the rise of Inns all over Europe that provided lodging, foods, consume and stabling and fodder for horses. They were comparable to a contemporary-working day bed and breakfast institution and commonly bundled a community dining home and offered area for meetings.

By the 1600s, so-known as Coaching Inns had grow to be common all through Europe and in the European colonies all over the Americas. Coaching Inns furnished a layover, foodstuff and consume for men and women touring by non-public horse-drawn carriages and stagecoaches. Coaching Inns were generally staffed with hostlers who tended to the horses and exchanged weary horse groups with rested ones.

In 1794, the 1st performing lodge in the U.S., the Town Lodge, opened in New York Town. The five-tale construction bundled 137 rooms, a barroom, coffeehouse, shops and a eating room. It was also a social middle that hosted meetings, dances, unique activities and concert events.

In 1829, the initial modern day hotel in the U.S., the Tremont Household, a magnificent four-story, granite-faced, neoclassical-design and style developing opened in Boston. It offered lavish goods to friends for the situations including bellboy provider, cost-free cleaning soap, locks on all guest rooms and a reception spot. Most importantly, it was the initially lodge in the U.S. to deliver indoor bogs, baths and working h2o. The Tremont Household established the conventional for luxury and comfort and ease which other big inns in the U.S. before long followed.

The Eagle Lodge (1821-1904)

The Eagle Lodge in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, with a horse-drawn shipping and delivery wagon to the left and a horse-drawn carriage on the right, in a postcard circa 1900. (Randy Jaye assortment)

The Eagle Resort was developed in 1821. Its title, that of an animal, was frequent in the 18th and 19th hundreds of years as many consumers were illiterate and could only understand photographs on signs. Lodges utilized names these types of as bear, horse and fox and exhibited images of these animals on their symptoms, which determined them as a area of lodging. Likewise, an before investing submit and resort built in Lebanon around 1760 was initially referred to as the Swan Resort, which survives today as the George Washington Tavern at 1000-1002 Cumberland St.

In its early many years, numerous horse-drawn freight wagons, carriages and stagecoaches stopped by as it was also a occupied transport level and transportation hub serving the central Pennsylvania space. Its high-quality nearby and point out-large notoriety was its most effective advertising and marketing technique as a lot of travelers and salesmen were lured to it by phrase-of-mouth conversation.

With the introduction of passenger railroad service in Lebanon, numerous accommodations were being created on the north side of the city together with the Lebanon Valley House and the United States Hotel. By the 1880s, there were being close to 20 regional inns competing with the Eagle Hotel.

In 1886, the Eagle Resort, very likely prompted by sturdy competition, was renovated and expanded into 1 of the “handsomest in the point out.” A 165-foot segment was extra on the South Ninth Avenue aspect of the developing, which improved the four-tale brick hotel’s sleeping rooms to 125, accommodating 250 to 300 attendees.

It was the 1st lodge in Lebanon with electrical lighting and steam warmth, and it incorporated electric powered bells and sizzling and chilly jogging drinking water. Its livery steady, in the again segment of the setting up, was improved and marketed as a “First Class Livery – well prepared at all occasions to furnish groups for weddings, funerals and excursions,” and operated 24 several hours a working day.

The lodge set up bus assistance to transport visitors again and forth to the teach station and other spots within just the metropolis. These early buses ended up double-hitch horse-drawn wagons that could seat about 8 travellers.

The Eagle Hotel’s restaurant and eating home was expanded to 54 by 55 toes and seated 225 attendees. It was elaborately furnished, like phone bells, costly linen, and fancy engraved sterling silver flatware. Upscale menu products this kind of as snapper soup and spring hen dishes were served.

The eating place also served as a ballroom and assembly position as the lodge became the heart for social lifestyle in the Lebanon area. A lot of clubs, civic, fraternal and experienced corporations which include the Lebanon County Historical Culture, Inter-State Baseball League, Daughters of the American Revolution, Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North The usa, Lebanon County Media Society and the Berks & Dauphin Turnpike Business held their meetings, banquets and social gatherings at the resort.

It was also the headquarters for the Lebanon County Democratic Party for many yrs.

Most of the area’s conventions were held in this article since of its place, amenities and transportation obtain.

The Eagle Resort also highlighted a second-ground parlor, and exhibit parts in the basement for touring salesmen to exhibit and show their merchandise to hotel visitors and community merchants.

The Resort Weimer in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, with cars parked diagonally on 9th Avenue, revealed in a postcard circa 1945. (Randy Jaye selection)

Hotel Weimer (1904-1963)

In 1904, the Eagle Lodge was marketed to the Weimer loved ones, pointed out neighborhood industrialists, and its identify was transformed to Hotel Weimer. Underneath new possession, the lodge managed a lavish physical appearance and strove to update its facilities to far more modern standards. Lodge Weimer’s foyer was furnished with leather upholstered chairs, elaborately carved pillars, tiled flooring, fine wooden tables, a huge extravagant fire, brass flooring lamps and high-stop material panels.

The hotel maintained its position as a neighborhood transportation hub when motorized vehicles which includes trolley cars, buses and automobiles grew to become the primary method of street transportation.

The Palm Area at Lodge Weimer, from a postcard circa 1938. (Randy Jaye collection)

In the course of the Prohibition period (1920-1933), when the manufacture, transportation and sale of alcohol was banned, the lodge relied on its espresso shop to provide drinks, albeit the non-intoxicating wide range, to its visitors. Following Prohibition was repealed in December 1933, the hotel’s coffee store was repurposed into a fashionable bar and cocktail lounge.

During the 1940s and ’50s, the hotel marketed itself as the Civic Heart of the Local community, Civic Club Headquarters and the assembly middle of Lebanon for great food. Businesses these as the Lebanon Lions Club, Lebanon Kiwanis Club, the Izaak Walton League of The united states, and the Gamma Omicron chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority commonly held situations at Lodge Weimer.

In 1957, the resort was offered for about $250,000 to 1 of the world’s greatest resort chains, Milner Resorts Administration Inc., “in what was termed the finest assets transfer in nearby historical past.” That same calendar year it was leased to the Bon Ton Office keep, which was up coming door, as ideas ended up staying talked over to increase into the hotel’s assets.

Office environment and foyer of the Hotel Weimer, shown in a postcard circa 1915. (Randy Jaye collection)

By the early 1960s, obsolescence was catching up to the composition as newer area inns became additional alluring for most vacationers. On top of that, the freshly modernized Pomeroy’s Section Retail outlet (formerly the Bon Ton) was lobbying to have the lodge creating demolished to make way for a parking great deal.

In early 1963, Hotel Weimer was considered a fireplace hazard and a public eyesore and padlocked after all of its contents ended up offered at a community auction. Greiner Development Co. was hired to demolish the building.

By August 1963, the developing was completely knocked down and all of its rubble hauled absent to a dump web site.

Legacy of the Eagle Hotel/Hotel Weimer

Many artifacts like pictures, postcards and newspaper articles or blog posts survive from the Eagle Lodge and Hotel Weimer, which document the structure’s when magnificent model and importance to the growth and history of the Lebanon region. The building stood for 142 a long time and survived the American Civil War, Globe War I, Prohibition, the Terrific Depression and Entire world War II, but time and dress in ultimately caught up to it.

A Lebanon Everyday News short article on Might 17, 1963, summed up the destiny of Resort Weimer when it mentioned, “During its existence the lodge experienced brought significant fame and honor to the metropolis, but it had outlived its usefulness.”

Though the landmark construction has been absent for several many years it remains aspect of the folklore of Lebanon County.

Nowadays, the web page of this former lavish resort is a town parking large amount.


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