Shanley Hotel

In 1845, Thomas Ritch erected the Ritch’s Hotel on Main
St. in Napanoch, NY for those who wanted to escape the
city life. Due to the convenience of the nearby railroad,
may travelers frequent the hotel. In 1851, Ritch sold the
hotel where it became known as the Hungerford’s Hotel.
Mr. Hungerford catered to the same clientele as Mr.
Ritch, including the elite Gentleman’s Club that boasted a
very distinguished membership and was quick to dandle
the ladies of the bordello on their knees. The hotel
changed hands a few times but in 1887, Adolph Wagner
became the new landlord. Eight years later, on March 18,
1895, a nearby home in Napanoch caught fire. The fire
quickly spread leaving ruin in its wake. The Shanley Hotel
was not spared the damage and was tragically burned to
the ground. Mr. Wagner would not see his investment go
to waste so he quickly rebuilt and the hotel was back in
business by November of the same year. The most
notable owner and for whom the hotel is still named was
James Shanley. When his family immigrated to New York
City from Ireland, James and his brothers found success in opening restaurants and hotels across the country. He
moved upstate and discovered the beauty of the hotel
and the town of Napanoch. He purchased the hotel for his
own on October 1, 1906. Mr. Shanley gave it his own
touch by adding a bowling alley, billiard room and even a
barber shop to the building. James’s success brought
prestige to the community but it wasn’t simply his ability
to produce revenue that made the people of Napanoch
love him. He was a good man with a kind heart and an
outgoing personality; people naturally were drawn to
him, including the lovely Beatrice Rowley. The two were
married at the Shanley Hotel on April 26, 1910 and took
off to the Nation’s Capital to enjoy their honeymoon.
When the newlyweds returned from Washington D.C.,
they were met by a parade welcoming them home. It was
a grand celebration that night that would signal a grand
future for the young couple, that is, until tragedy after
tragedy befell the family. Unfortunately, tragedy struck
the couple. Beatrice loved children and dreamed of
having a large family with her beloved James. On January
6, 1912, she gave birth to their first daughter, Kathleen.
The poor soul only lived a little shy of six months. She
would go on to give birth to two more children, James
Shanley, Jr who lived four and a half months and William
Shanley who died at a little over nine months. Her broken
heart can still be felt within the walls of the Haunted
Shanley Hotel.

Events at Shanley Hotel

October 16, 2021

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