In 1857 it was operated by Messrs. Sapp & Whitney and was better known as the Senate House. J. Frank Stansell wrote to R.B. Jaquith in 1954 relaying the history of the Masonic Senate Lodge, F. & A.M. had its first meeting in what was then the Senate Hotel. He was not sure if the Senate hotel and the Scott House were the same building, but assumed it was. It was a three story frame hotel with a basement, 50 feet in width and 130 feet in length. It was partly surrounded by a veranda and was situated at the junction of the east-west Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway and the north-south Big Four R.R. There was a ticket office inside for the Big Four.
Purchased in 1876 for $10,000 it was rented annually for $1,800. It was supposedly renamed for Mr. Thomas A. Scott, the famous president of the P.F.W.&C. railroad. U.S. Croy owned and managed the Scott House. Late one night two men broke into the sitting room, but were seen by the night clerk who turned them out. The men then entered the saloon below the Scott House, stole an overcoat, and in making off with the coat, were arrested. One was lodged in jail the other escaped. The one in jail burned the overcoat and succeeded in breaking out. Nothing further is known. The Scott House was later operated by a man named Webb.
The Scott House received a new desk on the 15th of October, 1877. William Fish of the Fish & Bros. placed the desk in the Scott House office. The desk was about nine feet long and three feet wide with the upper part containing nineteen very fine cards of the different firms of Forest.
On September 27, 1877 Rev. T.J. Cellar married Bion H. McLaughlin, of Hardin Co. to Miss Kate Burvis, of Wyandot Co. in the Scott House. In 1890 the Village council ordered a sidewalk placed on the west and south side of the Scott House lot. Inside was a restaurant, but no information about the restaurant is available. Outside was a restaurant or cafe called the Farmers' Home which was situated just south of the Scott House.
A person could get books, papers, and stationery at the barber shop in the Scott House in 1877. J.W. Dirst was the dealer who operated a "Circulating Library" from his Newspapers, Magazines, and Books room under the Scott House. And a very small man, Capt. Ebb, stopped at the Scott House. He was only 40 years old and weighed only 80 pounds. Dr. Jas. Huston of Dunkirk conducted his dental practice either at the Scott House or at Dr. Stansell's office every Tuesday. Even newlyweds were found to use the Scott House; once a couple sitting on the steps waiting for the mail south the wife in the lap of her new husband caused such a row that the proprietor was requested to "order them up" where upon they went home with a predictable bright future.
April, 1878 found the Scott House under new ownership. Messrs. Young & Co. of Mt. Gilead took ownership on April 10, 1878. __ Shafer had been the previous owner. There was a fence surrounding the Scott House. Damage to it was repaired in May, 1878. Other improvements to the Scott House were performed during the same period.
Robert Bailey who had run the Palmer House in Chicago took charge of the Scott House dining rooms in 1878. Some flooding or a leak occurred after this when there was found to be about six inches of water in the basement.
During the early 1890s and probably before there were "heel and toe" parties held in the Scott House. Business men seemed to use it when putting on exhibitions. One such, Struble & Lindesmith, had an exhibition displaying a machine or burner for heating stoves with coal oil. Mark Phillips ran a saloon under the Scott House. On January 18, 1892 he closed the saloon and departed for places unknown. In February, 1892 T.J. Woodside, landlord of the Scott House, was down with "la grippe." At the same time Joseph Dickleman received a letter indicating that Nettie Dickleman was down with la grippe at Adrain, MI.
The Scott House burned in 1892. At the time Mary J. Shafer owned the building. It was occupied by T.J. Woodside. There were few guests at the time of the fire. Most guests present at the time lost nothing to the fire. Not so the Woodsides, they lost everything including their son, Moses. Robert Walker, of Patterson, was also a guest at the time of the fire. The light of the fire was seen at a distance of thirty miles away and drew many country people to town.
Near the Scott House and owned by Shafer was a saloon and restaurant occupied by David Harman. It also was doomed by the fire. Soon after the fire one of Dr. Swimley's boys had a narrow escapt from being drowned by falling in a well near the Scott House.
One Man Killed and Another Badly Injured.
FOREST, O., Feb. 29.— The Scott House and restaurant and a saloon thirty feet distant, burned at 3 a.m. Saturday. Cause, defective flue. Loss $10,000; no insurance. A favorable wind only prevented a heavy loss.
There were a dozen or more guests in the hotel at the time of the discovery of the fire, and a wild scene of confusion ensued. They all succeeded in making their escape.
Moses Woodside, a young son of the proprietor of the hotel, while endeavoring to save some of this effects, was buried beneath falling timbers and burned beyond recognition.
O.M. Anderson, was also struck by falling timbers and badly injured, narrowly escaping death.
W.L. Woodside had removed here from Bucyrus last fall.
Two Destructive Conflagrations within Twenty-four Hours!
Mr. C.A. Metler's Residence, Carriage & Blacksmith Shop & Contents consumed! The Old Hotel The Scott House, and Adjoining Building, Wiped out of Existence!
Moses Woodside, (about 21, a son of T.J. Woodside.) Killed and Others Injured!
Forest, Ohio, Feb. 28— The Scott House, a large hotel here, was totally destroyed by fire this morning and a life lost. A small building adjoining the hotel was also burned to the ground. The fire occurred about 3 o'clock. The engineer of a P.F.W.&C. freight train discovered the fire and aroused the town by blowing his whistle. The entire building WAS SOON IN FLAMES, but all of the fifteen guests escaped uninjured. Falling of the walls, however, caught the son of the proprietor of the hotel, Moses Woodside, and he was burned in the building. The hotel structure being old and a veritable shell, burned like a tinder. Contents of both the buildings were saved, and the loss will not exceed $15,000. There was no insurance! The origin of the fire is unknown.
A traveler, who arrived late a few nights ago at the Scott House in Forest, Ohio, gave to Henry Friend, night clerk, a package containing $250 to keep until morning. Friend kept it and left town with it next morning before the traveler was awake.
The Scott House referred to in the dispatches, was located at the crossing of the Big Four and the P.F.W.&C. roads, and was a part of the building formerly used as a waiting room and depot for the former road. It was a large two story building, and years ago was the headquarters of a notorious gang of confidence men and crooks, and many a crime can be traced to beneath its roof.
ROASTED TO DEATH
In the Burning of a Hotel at Forest The Scott House Burned at an Early Hour This Morning and the Son of the Proprietor Killed.The basement of the Scott House was flooded with 6" of water in August, 1878.
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Since the Scott House fire, Win. Young is known as Rescue No. 2, Mrs. Thomp. Moore, who recently fell and hurt herself, is about again.
As a side note, Forest had another hotel called the "W.H. Hotel" which sat near the present freight office. There was also the Curt Baker Grocery. And the Carson House where you could get chicken dinners.