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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pottstown in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Shuler House

 
 
The Shuler House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 30, 2009
1. The Shuler House Marker
Inscription.  
Of the inns that were established in Pottstown in Colonial times that survived until Civil War days, The Farmer's Hotel (fondly remembered by local residents as The Shuler House) proved to be the most enduring. Built in the 1700's, the inn's original name is lost in history. In 1826, Joshua Missimer, a new owner, named it The Farmer's Hotel. It served as a stagecoach stop until 1842 when the railroad arrived.

William Shuler, Jr. purchased the inn in 1874 for $25,000, changed the name to The Shuler House, tore down the century-old rear structure on the west end and built a more substantial edifice. After his death his wife and son completed the renovations that gave it much of its latter day appearance.

In 1920, a new group of owners, The Shuler House Hotel & Garage Co. enlarged the eastern end for The Cafe Gladwyn and converted the stables in the back to a garage for the motor company. In 1942, Stanley Chaplin bought the hotel, put in a circular bar and basically gutted and remodeled the interior. Chaplin operated The Hotel Shuler until 1949 when the Govatos family purchased it. They were the owners until it closed on March
The Shuler House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 30, 2009
2. The Shuler House Marker
Looking SE into the Smith Family Plaza.
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29, 1975, when the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority paid them $310,000 for the hotel. Efforts were made to prevent its demolition, but to no avail. The area remained a vacant lot until the establishment of the Smith Family Plaza on this site.
—David R. Kerns
 
Erected 2002 by The Govatos Family and Pottstown 250th Anniversary Committee.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1861.
 
Location. 40° 14.745′ N, 75° 39.083′ W. Marker is in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in Montgomery County. Marker is on High Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is in the Smith Family Plaza, about 300 feet north of the former Reading Railroad passenger station. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pottstown PA 19464, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Security Trust Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Weitzenkorn's Clothiers (within shouting distance of this marker); Reading Passenger Station (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Clair Mansion (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Iron Bridge (about 400 feet away); The Pottstown News (about
The Shuler House, c.1920, Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 30, 2009
3. The Shuler House, c.1920, Photo on Marker
400 feet away); The Elks Home (about 500 feet away); Freight Station - AAA East Penn (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pottstown.
 
Additional commentary.
1. Mary and Theodora Govatos
Mary and Theodora Govatos owned the Shuler House until March 1975 when it was sold and torn down. Aunt Mary and Aunt Teddy, (as we called her), took great pride in owning the hotel. Each room had a porcelain tub and sink with ivory handles for knobs, gray carpet, either light blue or white curtains, a sitting stool, chair, and a bed with a metal frame and a firm mattress. The sisters were known to give free coffee or hot chocolate to the police on duty while Nick, the chef, would prepare some of the finest Greek food you had ever tasted.

When we were young children, they allowed us to play throughout the hotel. As we grew older we were taught how to operate the telephone switchboard, set tables, clean rooms and deliver to guests. I will always remember how above the tables hung a huge swordfish and the pink and blue lights that wrapped around the bar; the kitchen and the smell of food; the basement and all the hiding places it held. It was a sad day when
The Shuler House, c.1965, Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 30, 2009
4. The Shuler House, c.1965, Photo on Marker
the hotel had to be sold and torn down.
    — Submitted September 29, 2014, by Tracy A. Queen of Atlanta, Georgia.

2. Replacement of Pottstown Historical Markers
The Pottstown Historical Society has announced plans for 2017 to replace the existing markers, which are beginning to show their many years of outdoor exposure. We'll be working with Patrizi Signs in Pottstown, the shop involved in the original design and production. No changes are planned for the content, just a cosmetic update. Any and all donations to support the project will be greatly appreciated!
    — Submitted April 22, 2017, by Deb Penrod of Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

3. Owners of the Hotel Shuler
I am the niece of Mary Govatos, who owned the Hotel Shuler. I just wanted to note an error in the text relating to Mary and Theodora. Mary Govatos is the mother of Theodora, not a sister. Theodora did work in the hotel for many years when she was old enough.

Although we lived in NYC, my mother, grandmother, and father helped Aunt Mary after her husband passed away. My mother and grandmother helped by sewing the bedspreads and drapes for all the guest rooms. And my father helped as the bookkeeper on weekends.
Smith Family Plaza and Fountain image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 30, 2009
5. Smith Family Plaza and Fountain
About 75 feet SE of the Shuler House Marker.
Dominic, the chef, would make me anything I wanted to eat. But I would always request crab cakes and fries, and I was allowed to make my own ice cream sundaes.

Thanks for taking me down a stroll of memory lane, for I grew up as a child spending so much time at the Hotel.
    — Submitted March 14, 2021, by Helene Venizelos of Somerville New Jersey.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 9, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,710 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 9, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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May. 10, 2021