History of the Waterford Hotel – by Yvonne Boyle (2012)
Edited August 2014
It is said that the honorable Samuel Hutchins built what is now the Waterford Hotel at 213 High Street, Waterford, PA in the 1840’s as a private home. Samuel Hutchins was born in Vermont in 1787 and died in Waterford on February 8, 1868 at the age of 81. His wife Sophia (1802-1851) was 15 years younger than he. They were laid to rest in the Waterford Cemetery.
From 1819 – 1820 Mr. Hutchins was the Waterford Post Master. He was also a store
merchant in partnership with Amos Judson of Waterford from 1824 – 1847. They
first ran a dry goods store on East 1st street between Cherry and Chestnut Streets.
In the early 1830’s they had the three story brick building built on the northwest
corner of West 1st and High Streets. The last business in that building was Joe’s Auto
Parts, which is no longer there. In 1833 Samuel Hutchins held the office
“Overseer of the Poor” in Waterford. He was a State Assemblyman from 1838 – 1839
and an Erie County Associate Judge from 1856 – 1861.
In the 1850 Erie County census, Samuel Hutchins was living in Waterford on the
corner of East South Park Row and High Streets. Sixteen people were living on his
property: his wife and nine children: George, merchant, age 28; C.P. Hutchins,
teacher, age 25; Chauncey, physician, age 25; Amos, farmer, age 23; William, teacher,
age 21; Pauline, age 17; Jane, age 15; Sarah, age 15 and Sophia, age 9. Also living at
the residence were G.W. Reed age 68 listed as a “gentleman” (probably the Mr. Reed
who owned a local hotel where the Post Office is now on East 1st and High Streets
and also where Lafayette stayed overnight in 1822); three servant girls, Laura
Anders, age 32; Alvira Crow, age 20 and Rachel Bartles, age 15; as well as two
laborers: George Brown, age 18 and John Shields, age 18.
In the 1860 Erie County census, Samuel Hutchins was 73. The other people living in
his residence were Lucinda, age 42, and Sophia (Samuel’s youngest daughter), age
19, a music teacher. Sophia later moved to Erie and married W.C. White in 1861.
Samuel’s son Clinton and his wife lived in the house until their deaths. It was sold at a sheriff’s sale in 1901 for $5,000.00 to a John and Eloise Phelps who made it into the Waterford Hotel. On November 5, 1903 it was sold to John and Margaret Henry. The Henrys’ daughter Evangline “Eva” Henry (1884-1971) married Waterford dentist, Dr. Raleigh Barnes (1884-1954) in the Hotel and it was said her veil flowed down the length of the front staircase. It was a such a fabulous wedding that it was talked about for a long time in Waterford.
I think the house/hotel was vacant for a few years in the 1890’s. I read when Dr. Theodore Barton’s big Victorian house at 29 South Park Row (where my mother, Barb Heard lives now in another house built around 1905) burned. Dr. Barton lived in the vacant house/ hotel a short time. Someone told me a Blystone family lived in it a while as well. Blystone and Harrison Phelps Gillette were the names on the sheriff sale as “trustees” for the property, possibly because they were on the Waterford town council. Since the 1900’s it has had several owners and names, including the Camp Inn, the Green Goose Inn and the Lincoln Hotel. I went to the Erie County Courthouse and traced the owners from current back to the 1901 Sheriff’s Sale. The “Wishart Papers” in the Waterford Library tell about the Hutchins family living in the house/hotel. The 1865 map census shows the Hutchins lived on the property as well. Waterford Hotel, January 1902