Hotels

Milford St.
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The building has not been used as a hotel for a number of years. In 1947 the Hotel was sold for taxes to Park and Ruth [Zendt] Wert. Currently it includes a private residence as well as a beverage distribution business. This is how the property appeared in 2009 when it was listed to Richard Wert, son of Park and Ruth.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/3/09 - Image Year: 2009

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There were a number of hotels in the history of Perrysville-Port Royal. Today some might be called rooming houses rather than hotels.

One of the first was located on the east side of the PRR tracks at the corner of Market and First "Water" Streets. It was a three story brick structure known as the Tuscarora House and was built in 1851 by Samuel Rice. This structure served the public for 40 years until destroyed by a fire. Luckily all tenants escaped with their lives.

Near the Tuscarora House on First Street were two other structures known as the Port Royal House and the Byler House. These may have been more like rooming houses than hotels. Little is known about either.

Another was a structure adjacent to the first PRR Perrysville Station on the First Street side of Milford Street. This structure was sometimes referred to as the Railroad House and apparently got some of the clientele from the destroyed Tuscarora House. (Because of its proximity to the Pomeroy property, this building may have also been known as the Juniata House and Hotel Pomeroy.)

Still, another was the house at 304 North Fourth Street that eventually served as the residence of Clinton and Melissa (Horning) Bashore in what is commonly referred to as the Fairview Section of Fourth Street. This hotel primarily served travelers on the narrow gauge Tuscarora Valley Railroad (TV).

The largest hotel was located on the west side of the tracks at Second and Milford Streets and was known by the name Hotel Royal. It was built in 1902 by the firm of Lyons & Treon of Harrisburg. The Lyons & Treon firm eventually partnered with Robert H. Graupner Brewery, also of Harrisburg in the Hotel Royal project. Although the two firms were competitors, both were engaged in the hotel and brewery businesses and their businesses were located next to each other in the Pennsylvania capital city, still they somehow cooperated in this enterprise.

The exact nature of their partnership in the Hotel Royal enterprise is not known. However, the initial organizers must have had great expectations for their new endeavor. It seemed to be in a perfect location with so many advantages.

Little could they know that most of those advantages would be gone during the first twenty-five years of the hotel's life.

The advantage of the Graupner management expertise and money would became compromised when in 1905, Robert H. Graupner committed suicide, leaving all of his business interests to his wife Mary. The challenge to Mary's ownership rights insured that the new hotel would be managed by non-founding proprietors.

In addition, the brewing expertise of both founding partners was negated when Prohibition became the law of the land.

Also, by 1910 a new railroad bridge was built across the PRR tracks at Market Street, thus causing the closing of the Milford Street Crossing and diverting traffic from the front of the hotel.

During this time motorized vehicles were quickly replacing railroad coaches as the primary means of personal transportation, so the proximity to the PRR station wasn't the boon to travelers that had been expected.

The advantage of being located at the intersection of the Tuscarora Valley "TV" and Pennsylvania "PRR" railroads had decreasing value as both rail lines began a decline. In fact the TV line would be out of business by the mid-1930s. (The TV had used the hotel as a ticket office, and many of its travelers likely lodged there.

What looked so promising in 1902 had been turned on its head by 1930. Many tried thereafter to keep the business afloat, but the winds of change weren't in their favor.

In 1944 after its businesses had ceased, the building and lot were sold to Park and Ruth (Zendt) Wert for $700. The Werts envisioned making the structure into an apartment building which, unfortunately, would never occur.

The Werts lived in the building with their children, Richard and Carol and eventually they operated a beer distributorship from the premises.

Richard continued the business after the deaths of his parents. The business ceased when Richard died in 2013. Soon the building fell into serious disrepair and in 2016 a rear wall collapsed. Because the building was then considered a safety hazard, the remainder was demolished on February 28, 2017.

The grand lady at Second and Milford Streets is no more.

With the razing of the hotel, three iconic Port Royal structures are gone from the town. The first to go was the former Airy View Academy-Port Royal High School-Tuscarora Valley High School building. The school building was followed by the dismantling of the original wood grandstand at the Juniata County Fairgrounds. Now the Hotel Royal is gone as well. All three to live on in the memories of people who were to reside in or routinely visit the town. (Pictures of all three structures can be seen on this site.)

(Much of the material for this listing of hotels was taken from an excellent book written by Wayne E. Taylor: HOTEL ROYAL 1902-2017, published in 2017.)

Photos & Additional Comments

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Contributed by rkohler3 on 5/16/14 - Image Year: 2007
SECOND STREET: an aerial view of Second Street between Milford Street to the north and Market Street to the south as represented by Google Maps.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/2/09 - Image Year: 1889
This map shows the 200 block of Milford (North) Street as it appeared in 1889. This hotel is was not present at that time.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 4/16/12 - Image Year: 1920
CALLIGRAPHY PEN: HOTEL ROYAL "The Hotel that makes you feel at home."
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/8/09 - Image Year: 1903
The Railroad House, was an early hotel in Port Royal. There is evidence that the building also served as a store. It is shown here in 1908. Eventually it could not compete with the larger Hotel Royal that sat on the opposite side of the tracks. The Milford Street crossing of the tracks is visible in the middle of the picture. All vehicular traffic had to cross the tracks here until the railroad bridge was built at Market Street. The first PRR passenger station can be seen behind the hotel.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/25/10 - Image Year: 1915
HOTELS: The Railroad House can be seen to the right of the picture. The newer Hotel Royal is at the far left of the photo. Am guessing that the photo was taken about 1915 since the roof of the second station is visible in the lower left of the picture and the Milford Street Crossing appears to be closed. The photograph was likely taken from the Railroad Bridge looking north.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 2/13/13 - Image Year: 1889
TUSCARORA HOUSE: The Market Street Crossing is in the foreground. Just across the Crossing is the Tuscarora House (prior to its destruction by fire, owned and operated by J. McManigal). The picture was taken during the flood of 1889. The high water can be seen in the background. (Photo from "Port Royal Sesquicentennial 1812-1962 p. 13).
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/29/09 - Image Year: 1904
This picture shows the Hotel Royal and Grain Elevator along the Main Line of the PRR. This picture must have been taken between 1901 when the hotel was built and 1910 when the new station was built, because the new station doesn't appear in the picture.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/2/09 - Image Year: 1904
This map shows the 200 block of Milford (North) Street as it appeared in 1904. This hotel is was represented as #9 on the map.
Contributed by admin on 8/3/09 - Image Year: 1908
This picture represents the building not long after its construction. According to an interview with Frances Kauffman Crimmel conducted by Karlen McClure in 2009, while the building was serving as a hotel, it also served as a motion picture theater. In addition, Carrie (Sweet) Springsteen operated a dining room in the facility.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/2/09 - Image Year: 1911
This map shows the 200 block of Milford (North) Street as it appeared in 1911. This hotel is was represented as #9 on the map.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 2/27/13 - Image Year: 1915
HOTEL ROYAL: There is a man on the porch of the Hotel who is facing the railroad tracks. The picture appears to have been taken during warm weather months. (This can be determined from leaves on the tree and that windows have been raised on the third floor of the building.) The following note appeared in the June 26, 1907 issue of the Port Royal Times: "The windmill at Hotel Royal has been taken down, the pump is now operated by a gasoline engine." (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 8/24/09 - Image Year: 1922
During the first third of the Twentieth Century the Hotel Royal was a thriving enterprise. Its location at the junction of the Pennsylvania and Tuscarora Valley railroads made it an ideal location for travelers to and from Port Royal and the Tuscarora Valley. This picture shows the building as viewed from the area of the second PRR station.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/15/12 - Image Year: 1919
This is the front of a stock certificate issued to Frank A. Robinson for four shares of Hotel Royal stock. Based on the information on the certificate, Darwin C. Pomeroy was president and Frank A. Robinson was treasurer of the corporation that had been rechartered May 14, 1919. (Document image submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 7/15/12 - Image Year: 1940
This is the back of the Hotel Royal Stock Certificate and it indicates that two shares of Hotel Royal stock had been transferred to Henry Clay Hower on July 6, 1940. (Document image submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/2/09 - Image Year: 1928
This map shows the 200 block of Milford (North) Street as it appeared in 1928. This hotel is was represented as #9 on the map.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/7/09 - Image Year: 1940
The Hotel Royal serves as a background for the Second Pennsylvania Railroad Station at Port Royal.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/19/09 - Image Year: 1992
Hotel Royal, Port Royal, PA. Photo taken c. 1992 from the intersection of Milford and 2nd Sts., by George Pierson. (Submitted by Professor George N. Pierson.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/19/09 - Image Year: 1992
Front of Hotel Royal, Port Royal, PA. Photo taken c. 1992 from Milford St. by George Pierson. (Photo submitted by Professor George N. Pierson)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/19/09 - Image Year: 1992
Rear of the Hotel Royal, Port Royal, PA. Photo taken c. 1992 from 2nd St. looking north by George Pierson. (Photo submitted by Professor George N. Pierson.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 10/20/16 - Image Year: 2016
COLLAPSE: A section of the roof and rear wall collapsed in the former Hotel Royal building in the Summer of 2016. (Photo submitted by Jonathan Wert, Jr.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/19/09 - Image Year: 2009
Hotel Royal modeled in HO scale on George Piersonís Tuscarora Valley RR model railroad layout. While the building itself is an accurate model of the real building, Pierson has modified its surroundings to better fit in his layout design. The real Tuscarora Valley RR did not run behind the hotel Ė but on Piersonís layout, thatís TVRR second #3, a 2-8-0 engine which formerly operated on the East Broad Top RR. George Pierson photos. (Photo submitted by Professor George N. Pierson.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/19/09 - Image Year: 2009
Hotel Royal modeled in HO scale on George Piersonís Tuscarora Valley RR model railroad layout. While the building itself is an accurate model of the real building, Pierson has modified its surroundings to better fit in his layout design. The real Tuscarora Valley RR did not run behind the hotel Ė but on Piersonís layout, thatís TVRR second #3, a 2-8-0 engine which formerly operated on the East Broad Top RR. George Pierson photos. (Photo submitted by Professor George N. Pierson.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/17/10 - Image Year: 2009
Prior to becoming a private residence, this house (that currently sits immediately north of the Community Building on Fourth Street (Fairview)) served as a hotel. It was located in close proximity to the tracks of the Tuscarora Valley Railroad as it branched off of its Milford Street route and swung northward to the Transition Area with the Pennsylvania Railroad. At one time it was considered part of Moorhead Enterprises. Moorhead had founded the Tuscarora Valley Railroad.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 5/23/14 - Image Year: 2007
MILFORD STREET: an aerial view of Milford Street between the intersections with Second and Third Streets as represented by Google Earth.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/6/17 - Image Year: 2017
HOTEL ROYAL DEMOLISHED: The building that housed the Hotel Royal was demolished in early March 2017. (Photo submitted by Jonathan Wert, Jr.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/10/17 - Image Year: 2017
A small crowd gathered on Tuesday, February 29, 2017 to see the end of a piece of Port Royal history, as the Royal Hotel was erased from the landscape. This photo was taken as Joe Delhi worked on the demolition. In a matter of a few moments the once grand hotel, on the corner of Milford and Second was just a pile of rubble. (photo by Paulette Forry for The Times of Port Royal).



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