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The Leslie House or Leslie Hotel, one of the largest hotels in the region, was opened in downtown New Castle in c1853. Over the years the first and second floors were mainly occupied by small businesses, while the top two floors housed the majority of the guest rooms. The building was actually spilt it two by a dividing wall (until 1923), and had separate entrances for each half – on East Washington Street and South Mercer Street. In 1908 the building, owned by W. S. Moore, underwent extensive remodeling and was reopened as the “New Leslie Hotel.” In 1922 the hotel, and its popular Leslie Grill (or Leslie Lunch), was shut down for a time as a legal dispute raged concerning it’s ownership. A group led by C. Ed Smith Jr. took control in January 1923, remodeled and refurnished the entire inside, and added twenty hotel rooms on the second floor. A fire damaged the top floor on November 20, 1960, but the building was saved. Another fire, which started in the Branding Iron bar and restaurant on the first floor, engulfed the building on the evening of Sunday, February 4, 1968. The back wall and a section of the roof collapsed. Five fireman were injured and the hotel was considered a total loss. Numerous adjoining stores were also damaged to some extent. The old hotel was soon razed and cleared away and the site later became a small parking lot. (c1925)Full Size