The Waccabuc Hotel
(no longer standing)
Originally located on Mead Street, across from the Chapel, c. 1865-1896
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.
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 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.
EXPLORE THE OTHER PROPERTIES
1. Mead Cemetery, 2. The Gaard House, 33 Mead Street, 3. The Hunt Homes, 20 & 24 Mead Street, 4. The Homestead, 36 Mead Street, 5. The Cider Mill, 8 Schoolhouse Road, 6. Schoolhouses on Schoolhouse Road, 7. Old Field Preserve, 8. Elmdon, 49 Mead Street, 9. The Gilbert House, 68 Mead Street, 10. Waccabuc Country Club, 90 Mead Street , 11. The Waccabuc Post Office, 2 Post Office Road, 12. The Orchard House, 12 Post Office Road, 13. The Studwell House, 107 Mead Street, 14. Pinecroft Preserve, 15. Pine Croft Farm, 102 Mead Street, 16. Croft Farm, 106 Mead Street, 17. Tarry-A-Bit, 8 Tarry-a-Bit Road, 18. The Bungalow Club, 19. Long Pond Preserve, 20. The Waccabuc Hotel, 21. Fair Acre, 4 Chapel Road, 22. Lakeview, 14 Chapel Road, 23. Jared Mead House, 55 Chapel Road, 24. Mead Memorial Chapel, 2 Chapel Road, 25. Hendy Hap, 152 Mead Street, 26. Tredinock, 163 Mead Street, 27. Meeko, 166 Mead Street, 28. The Cahoone House, 181 Mead Street, 29. Lake Waccabuc, 30. Franklin markers