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American House

American House
Donated by Robert Marston
American House

 The Century -old 50 room American House on Franklin Square, which employed 30 persons in its heyday was opened in 1853, the Hotel looked very much as it does today, with the exception that it then sported a gable roof instead of the present flat one.

 Around the turn of the century a fire is said to have destroyed the third story of the structure, but it was subsequently repaired and a story added. Records seem to show the Eagle Hotel once stood on the site of the present American House. This hostelry had a hiistoric and interesting past.

A sprawling barn at the rear of the hotel was a stable, and horse-drawn rigs were rented by gentlemen who took fashionable ladies for pleasant rides on sunny, summer afternoons.

The American House served as a weekly meeting place for social and fraternal organizations such as the Rotary Club, the Lions, Kiwanis, and Exchange Club.

 U.S. Presidents have spoken from its porch, and it has lodged Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, Henry Cabot Lodge, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, and his aide, Roy Cohn.

 Its white Doric columns have witnesses the parades, the tragic events, the summers and winters of the people of Dover since its erection in 1853.

 In 1900, the rates at the hotel were $2.00 and $2.50. At that time the hostel possessed two annexes.

 An advertisement in an illustrated Souvenir published for the annual meeting of the State Grange in December, 1900, describes the hotel as having "electric bells, and steam heat," with a "fine billiard hall." "The leading, best equipped and finest located hotel in Dover."

From Historic Rambles about Dover by Robert A. Whitehouse c1999

American House

Immigrants were not the only new addition to Dover in the 19th and early 20th century; by the 1840's the Franklin Square area boasted the railroad, hence there was a veritable boom in hotel building at this time. The hotels in the area differed in both size and style.

The most famous, and most successful, was the American House on Main Street. Established in 1853, the American House was a landmark of Franklin Square. But is was not the first hotel in the area,. Prior to the opening of the American house, the Eagle Hotel was on this site and, like the American, was noted for its comfort and style. Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, the American House enjoyed remarkable success. It was, however, torn down about 1960 and replaced with a motel. 
  From the 1983 Heritage Walking Tour booklet.

American House

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