The Slagle Hotels I & II

Richard D. L. Fulton

The three-story building that was once the Slagle Hotel still stands at the Emmitsburg Town Square and presently serves as a 16-unit apartment building. Over time, the 150-year-old building has undergone several name changes.

The Slagle Hotel did have two previous names: one being the Western Maryland Hotel (since railroads apparently built a number of hotels along their lines) and the other name being Hotel Spangler. 

The (Frederick) News reported on April 10, 1899, “The Western Maryland hotel at Emmitsburg was recently purchased by Dr. C. G. Spangler… The entire hotel has been remodeled and will be known hereafter as Hotel Spangler.” The hotel was actually acquired by the doctor in 1898 for $4,000.

James A. Slagle acquired the Hotel Spangler shortly before his death from appendicitis on December 19, 1910, and had become the proprietor of the newly dubbed Slagle Hotel a short time before his demise. It was announced in the August 5, 1911, edition of The (Frederick) Daily News that Slagle “a short time ago had succeeded as proprietor of Hotel Slagle.”

Following his death, the administration of his estate was assigned to his wife, Annie M. Slagle.  In December 1912, Annie Slagle decided to sell all the furnishings of the hotel and the equipage of the attached livery. The sale included all the family’s horses and vehicles associated with the hotel. It appears that the sale was for the purpose of disposing of all unwanted items as a prelude to reestablishing the Hotel Slagle in a new soon-to-be-announced location.

The readers of the advertisement in the December 12 edition of the Daily Record and Blue Ridge Zephyr were directed to contact either Slagle or L.L. Mondorff (Lawrence L. Mondorff was Slagle’s son from her first marriage). 

Beginning sometime around April 1913, George W. Biddinger rented the Slagle Hotel while Slagle’s widow, Annie Slagle, continue to operate it, Biddinger having stated in an article published April 26, 1913, edition of The (Frederick) Daily News that “Mrs. Slagle was now conducting the Slagle Hotel, which she would run until May 1.”

The newspaper noted that the soon-to-be former Hotel Slagle had been rented by George W. Pittinger (to make matters as confusing as possible, the name is also spelled as George W. Bittinger in some news accounts), and that Annie Slagle will be quitting as manager of old Hotel Slagle and will be taking charge of the new Hotel Slagle opening at the Emmit House.

It is here that basically the story of the Slagle Hotel (at the town square) ends… somewhat.  According to the March 29, 1913, edition of the Adams County News, which reported. “The Emmit House at Emmitsburg has been leased by Lawrence L. Mondorff and that well-known hostelry will shortly become the new home of Hotel Slagle…” 

Mondorff applied for a liquor license for a saloon at the “New Slagle Hotel” in April 1913, and it appears to have opened a Pandora’s Box in the process. 

The request had immediately fueled opposition, some claiming that liquor sales at the hotel had been taking place after midnight on Saturdays into Sunday mornings, that some of the liquor that was being sold was being served to minors, and that rooms at the hotel were being used for gaming and gambling. 

The effort to secure a liquor license apparently was unsuccessful.

Annie Slagle passed away in September 1921 at age 53. According to her obituary, she still owned(?) both the buildings that had contained the old Slagle Hotel, and the building that contained the newer one (the Emmit House).

According to the August 1922 Woodsboro-Walkersville News-Journal, the end of the Slagle Hotel finally came in 1922, when the buildings containing the (newer) Slagle Hotel was sold to William Roberts, at which point in time the building was then reverted to its previous name, the Emmit House.

An advertisement for the Emmit Hotel, under the management of Roberts, appeared in the August 13, 1922, edition of The Baltimore Sun.  The final demise of the old and new Slagel Hotel had arrived.

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