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Straight - McDougal Hotel at Costello's Corners

willing01

 

Straight - McDougal Hotel at Costello’s Corners

(Sign says "Stone Dam Hotel")

The following description was taken by Madeline Lynch from Mrs. Vinnie Hunt in 1949.  Mrs Hunt was the granddaughter of William Straight who she believed built the McDougal Hotel in 1840 -1841.

Picture of Hotel - figures on the porch - from left to right :

Delia (Straight) Canfield - mother of Mrs. Hunt

William Canfield - son of Wallace

Frank Canfield - son of Wallace

Nettie Gardner Canfield - second wife of Wallace Canfield (she later married Lowell Fanton)

Mrs. Vinnie Hunt - sister of Wallace Canfield.

Wallace Canfield - who was running the Hotel at that time.

Fred Canfield - son of Wallace Canfield, by his first wife Phebe Gardner.  Phebe Gardner was also aunt to Nettie Gardner Canfield.

 

This Hotel was built in 1840 - 1841 by William Straight, grandfather of Mrs. Hunt and it was involved in many legal disputes over many years.  At the time the above picture  was taken, Wallace Canfield was running the hotel for the William McDougal estate.

Mrs. Hunt remembered a wooden fence about the hotel -  a very fine fence with squared posts with a heavy, flat board on top.  She and other children used to run along on top of this board and the McDougal housekeeper, a very old woman by the name of Pryor had a “mad” spell every time the children played on the fence.

The front door of the hotel opened into a large hall, which went straight back to the very large dining room.  Stairs went up from the back left hand corner of this dining room to the second floor.  There was a living room on the left of the front hall and a lobby on the right of this hall.  There was a bedroom on the left of the dining room and also another bedroom on the right.

The kitchen was in a wing addition extending out from the back in a straight line.  In back of the left hand bedroom, and to the left of the kitchen was a large pantry.  There were also three bedrooms across the back of this kitchen - there were at least 11 bedrooms in the hotel.

The 3 windows in the center across the front of the second floor were in the ball­room. There were 3 bedrooms down each side of this ball room - 6 in all on the second floor. The attic was unfinished.  There were very heavy timbers exposed in the attic. The children used to climb out of the attic window and play on the balcony.  The balcony was very solidly built and was a lot of fun.

Originally the bar was in the basement and was reached by hand hewn stone steps which were 12 feet wide and went down to a beautiful glass partition to let in light. The bar room floor was a hand laid stone floor and  the bar was extremely beautiful and massive.  This was later moved to the first floor into the bedroom - off the dining room which is where Mrs. Hunt remembers it.  

Matthew  Costello lived  in the McDougal Hotel when it burned about 1910.  The fence about the place was gone at the time of the fire but there was a beautiful row of trees about three sides of the lot which were burned in the fire and destroyed.

The hotel faced the Stone Dam Road – that is where the front entrance was - and the entrance to the bar room was on the Shongo Road side of the hotel.  It stood on the left hand corner of the Stone Dam - Shongo Roads.

The place name was Elmwood Corners from the row of huge Elm Trees which surrounded this property.  Milt Loring (a local historian of the time) believed that the Elmwood Hotel - later the McDougal hotel was built by a few brothers named Shaw and that it changed hands many times before the McDougals came into possession of it. He did agree that it was a tremendous structure with a long low addition out in back stretching along the Shongo Road and containing a kitchen, storehouse and woodshed,  etc.  He also believed that the entry to the bar room was on the Shongo Road side.

 

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