A few years ago when Mrs. LZ and I were on a fall foliage trip through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, we came around the corner and were just blown-away with this hotel which was basically in the middle of "nowhere." At first we could not figure out why in the world it was even out here, but soon we found out that it was basically not a very good financial investment and at that particular time was about to be foreclosed on by the bank. Having always been taken but this building, I decided to find out whatever became of this place. Well the truth is that it is still there and doing fine.
You can click here to see what this looks like today.
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Now on to the other hotel (the Mountain View Grand)which we didn't see, but has a great history.~ On a rainy night in 1865, a stagecoach in route from Boston to Montreal hit a large mud hole and overturned on a back road in the small township of Whitefield, NH. Two passengers climbed out and were told by the driver to follow the dirt road a half-mile until they reached a farmhouse. Despite the late hour, the travelers were welcomed at the home of William Dodge, thus beginning a long tradition of Mountain View hospitality.
They awoke early the next morning to the smell of a home-cooked breakfast. After breakfast they wandered out on to the porch where they were quickly captivated by the breath-taking views of the Presidential Mountain Range, a glorious series of 4,000 foot peaks in the White Mountains.
Impressed by the hospitality of the Dodges and the beautiful, inviting natural surroundings, the guests prevailed upon their hosts to permit them to stay a few days longer. The following summer the accidental guests returned for a sojourn of several weeks, inspiring the Dodges to add the first of many additions to come and to begin a small boarding house that they called the Mountain View House. In a sequence comparable to several other great White Mountain Hostelries, this episode launched the development of the Mountain View House toward grand hotel status.
The architectural growth of the Mountain View House began in 1866 when the Dodges opened what was initially a modest country inn. Over the years, several additions were made, the most striking of which was the two story piazza displaying Greek Revival details, set under the front roof overhang and supported by square Doric columns. By the summer of 1884, the Mountain View House could accommodate over 100 guests. During the months between 1911 and 1912 construction continued and the Mountain View House soon joined the prestigious ranks of those elite White Mountain Hostelries with space for over 200 guests.
As the reputation spread, so did the demand for rooms. The Dodge family met the challenge well and passed on the management responsibility to yet another generation of aspiring Dodges'. Frank Schuyler Sr. ran the hotel operations until his untimely death in 1941 at which time, his wife took over the management until Frank Schuyler Jr. was able to handle the responsibility. During Frank Schuyler Jr.'s tenure, Century Hall was built as a highly functional entertainment and conference center. Finally, in 1979, faced with a changing tourist market, automobile fuel shortages and financial instability, the descendants of William Dodge sold the Mountain View House, thus ending the long regaled reign of one of the finest grand hotels in the history of the United States and the oldest resort to be owned and operated continuously by the same family living on the same property.
The last functioning years of the Mountain View House were fraught with stress and uncertainty. In 1986, after several summers producing marginal financial returns, the hotel closed its doors. In 1989 all of the contents of the hotel were put up for auction. The Mountain View House was purchased in 1998 by a young entrepreneur, who worked long and diligently to re-create the splendor of the golden days of the grand resort hotels in the White Mountains. The new Mountain View Grand proudly reopened its doors in May 2002 after completion of a $20 million historic restoration.
Then in 2005 the Mountain View Grand was purchased by Great American Insurance Group and joins a unique collection of historic hotels including The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida, Le Pavillon, in New Orleans, Louisiana, The Cincinnatian in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Charleston, South Carolina.
By the way... in case you wonder what this place looks like now (and if you will pardon a photo that I did NOT take myself) here is one that is on the hotel's own website.
You can also click here to see what this one looks like today.
“In every visit with mountains one receives far more than he seeks." ~ Naturalist John Muir