The Waccabuc Hotel

(no longer standing) 

Originally located on Mead Street, across from the Chapel, c. 1865-1896

Waccabuc House, c. 1865

Waccabuc House, c. 1865

A resort hotel (aka Lake Waccabuc House) built by Martin R. and Octavia Badeau Mead in 1857, burned 1896. Waccabuc Hotel boathouse & bowling alley were located at the western edge of the lake. No remains are left in Long Pond Preserve

Martin Rockwell Mead bought the property across from the Chapel in about 1865 and turned an old house into a hotel.  He and his wife, Octavia, welcomed summer guests until his death in 1882.  His widow rented the hotel to various tenants until it burned in 1896.

Back of the boat house on Lake Waccabuc

Back of the boat house on Lake Waccabuc

Click to view larger.

A view of the boathouse from a frozen Lake Waccabuc

A view of the boathouse from a frozen Lake Waccabuc

In the late 19th century, country guest houses and hotels such as the Waccabuc Hotel were havens for city dwellers escaping the heat, grime, crowded conditions and especially the threat of yellow fever and mosquito-borne malaria.  Guests were met at the Goldens Bridge train station in a coach or wagon (50 cents).  They enjoyed the lake for boating, fishing and for bathing (not swimming).  There was a bath house in the shallow part of the lake with dressing rooms.  A bowling alley and boat house sat on the edge of the water.

A promotional brochure of 1883 advertises “churches of all denominations within 2 ½ miles distance.”

The hotel advertised that it could take in 80 guests and that the area was free of malaria and mosquitoes.  A flyer also stated that the hotel was 1,000 feet above sea level and the air was very pleasant.

The bowling alley

The bowling alley

The stable for the hotel was built where the Mead Chapel now stands.  A stage met trains morning and evening at Goldens Bridge.  The stage ride cost a guest $0.75 in 1866.  A look at the hotel ledger for 1866 gives the rates charged for various services.   Room and board was about $2.00 a day, and a ride to church on Sunday via the stage was $0.25.  If a horse and buggy were rented to go to church, the price was $1.50.  A carriage ride to Mahopac was $5.00 and a carriage ride to Peach Lake (in North Salem) was $3.00.  Rental of two saddle horses for a trip to Mahopac was $5.00.  A bottle of claret cost a guest $1.00, champagne $2.50, a glass of sarsparilla was $0.10, lemon soda $0.30, and cigars (spelled “sigars”) were $0.20 each.  The hotel charged $0.75 to do a load of washing.  Musicians for a dance held in September of 1866 cost the hotel $10.00 for the evening.

A piazza ran all around the hotel. Here guests could lounge and enjoy the lovely views.  There was a hotel garden to provide guests with fresh vegetables.  There were flat bottom boats for fishing, Adirondack skiffs for poling through the channels between the lakes, and a bowling alley for enthusiasts.   The hotel literature listed the following activities for its guests:  boating, fishing, bathing, bowling, driving, and rambling.

Advertising flyer for the Waccabuc Hotel

Advertising flyer for the Waccabuc Hotel

The stable of Waccabuc Hotel, in the late 1800s

The stable of Waccabuc Hotel, in the late 1800s