Windham Boarding Houses, Hotels and Resorts


Extracted from Beers, History of Greene County, by Annette Campbell

Early Hotels:


The house now owned by the Methodist Episcopal church, and used as a parsonage, was built for a hotel by Merritt Osborn, brother of the venerable Henry Osborn, and father of Colonel Milo C. Osborn.
 
The Munger Hotel, on the turnpike, was first built for a farm house, by Perez Steele, who came to Windham about the commencement of the present century. It was rebuilt for a hotel by his son, Stephen Steele. The latter was a popular landlord, and did a large business.
 
Ira Sherman kept a hotel at East Windham from 1836 to 1875. He was a popular landlord, and did a thriving business. He was postmaster at East Windham from 1840 to the year of his death. He was born in the town of Cairo, was a son of Samuel Sherman, and a first cousin of Major General William T. Sherman.
 
Captain Peter VanOrden, Sr., located and built the first hotel in the town of Windham, in 1788, at a point where the old turnpike intersects the new, near the East Windham toll gate.  He was thrice married. By his first wife he had three children, by his second, three, and by his third, seven---in all thirteen.  J. G. Brainard is a grandson. On his arrival in East Windham he bought 200 acres of land, built a log house and cleared about two acres. The surrounding region was then a wilderness, inhabited by bears, wolves, wild cats, panthers, etc.  The house consisted of two rooms and a loft, which was reached by a ladder.  He entertained many families of emigrants at his house; so many at times that he could not cross the floor without walking over their prostrate forms. He often arose on dark rainy nights, yoked his oxen, and taking hold of Old Bright's bow, in order to keep the track, went and drew the emigrant's wagon out of the mud where they had stalled. Such was pioneer life. At this place Peter VanOrden, Jr., was born in 1800.

Summer Resorts:
As a place of summer residence, Windham holds out many inducements.  It has the benefit of a clear, healthy atmosphere, and has long been a favorite place of resort for seekers of rest and pleasure.  The drives on its well kept highways yield always a glimpse of beauty; and certain hillsides and shaded nooks reward the searcher and reveal the beauties of the place.
 
There are a number of well known and well patronized resorts in the village and scattered throughout the town, each capable of accommodating from 10-100 guests. The houses are attractive and pleasantly located, commanding excellent views of mountains, hills, and valleys; the rooms are spacious and comfortable; the proprietors are courteous and attentive; and the tables are supplied with everything seasonable and wholesome.
 
However great their anticipations may be, few visitors are disappointed in the beauties of the town or the hospitality of "mine host."  Hundreds of visitors come here to pass away the summer months, and as a general thing go away satisfied.
 
Below will be found a list of summer resorts in and near the village of Windham.
 
Windham Hotel, O.R. Coe, Proprietor, is pleasantly situated on Main street, near the central portion of the village. By reason of a slight bend in the street, near the hotel, a commanding and picturesque view is had of the entire street, bordered by sugar maples, each of which produces its share of the delicious sweet. This house has been enlarged each year until it is now five times as large as it was when it became the property of Mr. Coe, in 1879. It is not only an ornament to the village but also a monument to the energy and enterprise of Mr. Coe and his no less efficient wife. While the original structure has been nearly lost in the new one, its prominence as an old landmark, as the first hotel in this place, remains, and its peculiar popularity has not abated. Neither has it, like many other hotels that have grown to large proportions, increased its scale of prices.  Mr. Coe caters to the wants of the public in everything save that which intoxicates. Although this is a summer resort, guests are entertained during the entire year, and the patrons of this house consist largely of the better class of people who seek for quiet rest and homelike comfort. The season of 1883 was closed by a parlor entertainment given by the guests of the house, at which Hon. E. Raymond, in taking leave, said: "It is a compliment worthy of record, that scores of families and friends that had spent weeks at this house, united in asking him to tender to all those connected with the house their kindest and best wishes for their continued prosperity."
 
Woodvine Cottage is pleasantly located on Main street, in the central part of the village. This is one of the oldest summer resorts in this locality. The house was built by the proprietor, Moses White, in 1865, and has room for 25 guests.
 
The Glen House  is pleasantly situated just on the outskirts of the village. This house was erected in 1882, by A. E. West, the present proprietor. It has ample accommodations for 40 guests.
 
Brookside Cottage was erected in 1877, by L.J. Smalling, who still retains Possession of the property. This house entertains 20 boarders.
 
The boarding house of Dr. P. I. Stanley was built by Charles Stedman, in 1866. The house is nicely located, and has a capacity of 16 guests.
 
Maple Shade House,  the property of G. M. Thorp, is located in the village, and has ample accommodations for 16 guests.
 
The boarding house of William H. Moon is located on a rising eminence at the east end of the village. This house accommodates 16 guests.
 
Mott's Summer Boarding House is pleasantly situated on Main street, and has abundance of room for 12 guests.
 
Central Hotel, H. A. Martin, proprietor, was erected by Samuel Miller, in 1864. This hotel was purchased in January 1884, by Mr. Martin. This house is designed to suit the wants of the traveling public, and accommodates 30 guests.
 
The Boarding House of Dr. W. H. Mead is nicely situated on Main street, Windham. This is one of the prettiest places in the village. It has a capacity for 12 guests.
 
Fair View House is located at the western end of Windham village, affording a fine view of the mountains and valley. This house was built in 1848, by Colonel James Robertson, and rebuilt by Jared Clark, in 1858.  The present proprietor bought it in 1863. It has accommodations for 15 guests.
The Farm House of Merritt McLean, one mile west of the village, has room for 20 guests. A farm of 140 acres is connected with the house.
 
Windham House was purchased by the present proprietor, Sherman Munger, in 1867.  In 1869, he converted it into a boarding house.  This house is pleasantly situated on the old Susquehana Turnpike, about one mile west of the village. A farm of 250 acres is connected with this house. It accommodates 75 guests.
 
Union Society, nearly midway between Windham village and East Windham, is pleasantly situated near the base of Elm Ridge. The Summer Resort of David Davis is located here. This building is a modern structure, and has ample room for 60 guests. For seekers of rest and quiet this house holds out many inducements. A bowling alley and post office are connected with this house.
 
Hensonville. This truly beautiful village is located two miles southeast of Windham, and offers many inducements to the lover of country life. This place is surrounded by a fine farming region, with excellent highways, and environed with mountains abounding in picturesque scenery. This village has a Methodist church, two stores, post office, and telegraph office, and several summer boarding houses.
 
The Bloodgood House, Bloodgood Brothers, proprietors, is a new house, and has a capacity for 40 guests. It is situated on a slight elevation overlooking the village, and is surpassed by no other house for the beauties of its surrounding mountain scenery.
 
The Boarding House of William H. Hitchcock is also located in this village. This house was erected in 1872, and has accommodations for 25 guests.
 
Big Hollow, so named from the large valley in which the the village is situated, is a small, romantic place, in which signs of modern progress are visible on every side. Churches of the Presbyterian, Methodist-Episcopal, and Free Methodist denominations are found here.  Also a store, post office, and several other places of business.
 
Brook-Lynne is located midway between Windham village and Hensonville, and is one of the neatest and most picturesque places among the mountains. There are several very pretty places of residence.
 
The Osborn House, E. Osborn & Son, proprietors, is picturesquely situated in the beautiful hamlet known as Brook Lynne. The house is new and superbly furnished throughout. The rooms are spacious and airy, and it has ample room for 50 guests. A farm of 300 acres surrounds the house.  A livery is connected with this resort.
 
Soper Place, John Soper, proprietor, is the third oldest summer boarding house in the valley, and was first opened for the reception of guests 18 years ago.  In 1872 the house was enlarged and refurnished, and now has a capacity for 35 guests.  The Soper Place, formerly known as The Evergreen Park House, is located on a beautiful mound overlooking the picturesque landscape that surrounds it.  The house is partially surrounded by ornamental evergreen trees that greatly add to the beauty of the place. The rooms are large, airy and well furnished. The guests can enjoy boating, bathing and fishing on the premises, owned and controlled by Mr. Soper, who has provided the amusements usually found at summer resorts.

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