Sometime in late 1904 the three-story McCreary Hotel was opened in downtown New Wilmington in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. It was erected on Neshannock Avenue (at the intersection with New Castle Street) and replaced an aging hotel with the same name that was located right next door. The older hotel was soon demolished. The proprietors of the new hotel, Stewart and Agnes McCreary, made sure the establishment had most of the modern conveniences of the time. It was built to house at least fifty guests and its first floor parlor and third floor dance hall became the scene of many lavish banquets, civic meetings, school reunions, and social dances.
The McCreary’s operated the hotel, a popular gathering place for local residents, until they sold it in July 1919 to a group headed by young businessman Philip M. Cox, an employee of the First National Bank of New Wilmington. Cox resigned from the bank and took over the operations of the hotel a few months later. The business was rechristened as the Hotel Neshannock on September 10, 1919. Cox managed the popular hotel until it was sold to Wyatt R. Campbell (1880-1851) in July 1924. Cox returned to the banking business while Wyatt, a well-known furniture dealer and undertaker in New Castle and New Wilmington since 1898, took over active management on September 1, 1924. Many nineteenth century undertakers got their start in the furniture business, as it became common practice to manufacture coffins for public sale – which led to many furniture dealers expanding to provide full-fledged funeral services.
Campbell undertook a complete renovation to upgrade the interior to include all new furniture. The following year he built a one-story addition onto the back of the building, which extended the hotel parlor and also provided new office space for his furniture and undertaking business.
The hotel was converted into a men’s boarding house beginning about September 1929, just prior to the Stock Market Crash of October 29 that led to the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The building remained in use as a boarding house throughout the 1930’s and into the 1940’s, and apparently served as a sort of rest center for military veterans during World War II. I believe it was sold off sometime after Campbell, a funeral director serving Lawrence County for fifty-three years, passed away in April 1951 at the age of seventy. In later years it served as home to various small businesses, including a medical clinic and an antique shop. The building in still in use today as an apartment building, while Haines Realty – a real estate business founded in 1959 – occupies the basement level.
The three-story Hotel McCreary, operated by Stewart and Agnes McCreary, was opened on Neshannock Avenue sometime in late 1904. It replaced a smaller establishment with the same name that was located right next door. The new hotel was well received by the local population and was the scene of frequent social gatherings. (c1911) Full Size
The hotel was sold to local man Philip “Phil” Cox in 1919 and renamed as the Hotel Neshannock. It was sold again in 1924, this time to wealthy furniture maker/funeral director Wyatt R. Campbell. Campbell operated the building as a hotel and then a men’s only boarding house for many years. (c1923) Full Size
The building served as a boarding house throughout the 1930’s and into the 1940’s, and was utilized as a sort of rest center for military veterans during World War II. (c1916) Full Size
(Aug 2013) Full Size