American & Commercial Hotels
Brookville's early growth can be attributed to its strategic location along the Susquehanna and Waterford Turnpike, a toll road which was completed in 1822 from the Susquehanna River in Clearfield County northwest to Waterford in Erie County. This major overland route entered Brookville along East Main Street and originally followed Jefferson Street. As the commercial center bec[a]me firmly established on Main Street, the Turnpike was moved one block to the south to conform to the right-of-way of Main Street itself. To accommodate the traffic of drovers and stage coach passengers, a number of hotels were built along Main Street.
The Commercial Hotel occupied the site of the Royal Exchange Hotel, which was destroyed by fire in 1856. John Clements rebuilt after the fire and opened Clements House in 1858. In 1871, another fire would take the building, but not before changing names and owners twice. Rebuilt again, the Commercial Hotel was opened by Matson & Arthur in 1883. This hotel housed guests until Brookville Title and Trust rebuilt on the property in 1921. The American Hotel held rooms on the second floor of the new bank, with an
The American Hotel, located to the west of the courthouse on Main Street, was built by Elijah Heath in 1845. In 1856, a fire swept the block, destroying the original building. The American Hotel was rebuilt in 1857 and served its guests for over 106 years until being razed in 1963. This large building, in addition to the guest rooms, was home to Sterk's News Stand, the hotel dining room, the American Café, a shoe shine stand, Western Union, a barber, a billiard room, a pay telephone station, and retail spaces that Heasley and Reitz, Barrett and Reitz Clothing, and Reitz's occupied successively. In the rear, a livery and barn housed horses.
[Photo captions, clockwise from top left, read]
• Commercial Hotel Facade
• Elevated Passage Connecting the American Hotel to Rooms Above Brookville Title and Trust (Originally the Commercial Hotel), 1932
• Watching a Parade from the American Hotel
• J. A. Caldwell's Illustration of the American Hotel
• Horses Pull Sleighs Down Main Street Past the Commercial (back) and American (front) Hotels
Erected by Historic Brookville, Inc., Jeff Co History Center, Brookville Area Chamber, Jeff Co Hotel Tax Cmte, DCNR, PA Lumber Heritage Region,
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1922.
Location. 41° 9.629′ N, 79° 4.845′ W. Marker is in Brookville, Pennsylvania, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (U.S. 322) and Diamond Alley, on the right when traveling east on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 237 Main Street, Brookville PA 15825, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rodgers-Canning-McKinley Block (a few steps from this marker); Marlin Opera House Block (a few steps from this marker); Marlin Opera House (a few steps from this marker); Jefferson County National Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Korean and Vietnam Wars Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); McKnight Building (within shouting distance of this marker); World War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brookville.
Also see . . . Borough of Brookville PA: History. (Submitted on July 11, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 11, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 11, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.