Monday, December 11, 2017

Another Chance Discovery

The building in the picture below is Hotel Central, a.k.a. Central House, which once stood on the southeast corner of Warren and Fifth streets, where TrustCo Bank is today.

from the Hudson City Directory for 1914

It isn't known--at least not by Gossips--when the building was constructed or when it was demolished, but a couple of chance discoveries in the Hudson Register reveal some interesting facts about the hotel. For example, in the summer of 1901, electric fans were installed in the rooms for the comfort of the guests.

Exactly a hundred years ago today, in the Evening Register for December 11, 1917, a letter to the editor, from someone identifying him/herself as "SENEX" (Latin for "old person"), provides a hint about when the building ceased to be a hotel.

Because the last two paragraphs are a little hard to read, they are transcribed here:
Since Mr. Winfield became proprietor the hotel has been well conducted and many changes have been made to keep pace with the changing times. The action of many big business houses in calling in their road agents and the loss of patronage due to the action of the excise board in not granting the Central a license have operated to a point where it is no longer possible to continue as a paying investment.
Hotels are all too few in Hudson and it seems a pity that one of the city's oldest is on the eve of passing into a memory.
The comment about the excise board not granting the Central a license suggests that the hotel had been denied a liquor license. Only a little more than a year later, in January 1919, Congress would pass the Volstead Act which established Prohibition. Even if the end of the Great War in November 1918 brought back normalcy to the way big business houses conducted their affairs, the advent of Prohibition would soon thereafter be impacting hotels like the Central.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Carole for presenting Hudson's rich history! I so want to take a trip in time and walk the streets and alleys of Hudson from 100 years ago!