Stevens House Hotel Records, 1897-1928

Call Number: MG-246

1 box     14 folders     .75 cubic ft.

Repository: (Lancaster, Pa.)

Shelving Location: Archives South, Side 6

Description: This collection contains records from the Stevens House Hotel in Lancaster, PA. Two main items of this collection are scrapbooks that have the board meeting minutes and menus and programs for events that took place at the hotel. The board meeting minutes walk us through the modernization of the hotel and what it took to keep a hotel that was looked at as one of the most elegant outside of Philadelphia. One can see how the government laws have a direct effect on the local economies; when liquor sales became illegal, business was off significantly. Through the second book, one can relive the past events from New Year’s Eve celebrations to Grand Balls to class reunions, the food that was served, and the entertainment.

Creator: Stevens House Hotel (Lancaster, Pa.)

Conditions for Access: No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Reproductions: Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language: English

Source of Acquisition: Gift of Robert R. Shoemaker, 30 July 1997.

Administrative History: Processed and finding aid prepared by KB, January-May 2014.


Folder 1 Book 1

Board Meeting Minutes for the Stevens House November 2, 1897 to January 1928

Exterior of book is in good shape. There are pages that have brittle edges and are loose.

Meeting notes are hand written until 1908 then notes have been typed and glued to book pages.

Most minutes includes list of board members present, usually a report from hotel manager, and a list of expenses, incoming and out-going.

4/28/1902, Page 61: Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company left the board know that they would vacate the 3 rooms that they occupied since 1875.

6/28/1907, Page 93: The board listened to bids from Bell and Independence Company for telephone service

3/3/1908, Page 100: Bids were presented for 6 baths, toilets and 10 wash stands

8/4/1908, Page 108: Plumbing is to be finished by September 1st.

3/11/1909, Page 118: Lancaster Electric Sup. and Con. Company was given the okay to wire the building

5/2/1915, Page 205: It is noted that the hotel bus is in poor condition. This was used to transport guest from the hotel to the station.

6/1918, Page 217: Board decides to remove hotel manager and run the hotel itself.

3/1919, Page 220: Acting manager is told to inventory all liquor, glassware etc. It is noted that it will be illegal to sell alcohol after June 30th 1919. It is bought to the attention of the board members that from March 1, 1918 to March 1, 1919 Bar and Banquet hall earned $53,000.

9/1919, Page 221: Bar closed, grill closed and all employees were dismissed. Liquor license was to be dropped to save expenses. Prior to new law, Bar receipts for 12 months were $30,000 plus banquet room total was $54,000.

1/1920, Page 222: Wine and liquor cellar is dismantled and all liquor is removed.

1/1925, Page 242: List Mortgage Book No 75, Page 174

5/1926, Page 248: List of expenses for 1923 through 1928

Page 254: The By-Laws of the Lancaster Hotel Company are written out.


Folder 2 Book 2

List of events with menus. Some have newspaper articles attached, some have program. that happened at the Stevens House December 22, 1910 to April 1920

Exterior of book is in very poor shape. There are page with brittle edges.

Most of the entries list group names, dates, number of people and what was on the menu that night.

Anything from social groups, class reunions, masquerade balls to holiday parties.


Folder 3 Items that were inside Book 2 front cover

Thanksgiving Eve at Stevens House menu with a comment on back from William H. Taft

Program from Annual Banquet Pennsylvania State Hotel Association October 19, 1916. Lists the Menu, Speakers, and Officers


Folder 4 Items that were inside Book 2 front cover (this folder has inserts)

Insert 1 A List compiled by M. Luther Heisey, associated with Lancaster County Historical Society. This lists historical pictures and literature in English Dining Room on Stevens House letterhead. Found on the list are newspaper articles talking about events at Stevens House, photographs, maps and lithographs. Most of the items listed have dates on them. (7 pages)

Menu on Steven House letterhead. (One page)

Insert 2 An article from the Hotel and Club News. Dated November 1911 The Stevens House was selected to host the Pennsylvania State Hotel Association Convention. The article touches on the history of hotels in Lancaster, as well as gives some back ground reading on the Stevens House. (2 pages)

An article from New York Hotel Review, about the annual Pennsylvania State Hotel Association banquet at Stevens House. (One page)

Insert 3 A typed history of the Stevens House commemorating 75th Anniversary on Stevens House letterhead. (3 pages)

Insert 4 A letter talking about how the Stevens House no longer enjoys its liquor. (2 pages)

Insert 5 A description of The Grand Ball that was held at the Stevens House (4 pages)(condition: brittle right edge)


Folder 5 Items that were inside Book 2 front cover

Stevens House menu

Program from the Second annual Dinner of Lancaster Chapter American Institute of Banking on March 22,1919. A list of chapter members along with chapter notes and possible education opportunities.

Menu from the “Sons of Rest” Dinner Party (One page)

Seventh Annual Banquet for the Young Republicans of Lancaster, PA. Menu (One page)

Victory Banquet Lancaster Lodge No. 134 B.P.O. Elks Program lists the menu, toastmaster and special guest. Also a list of committee members.


Folder 6 Loose newspaper articles from Book 2 Pages 6-7

One photocopy from Lancaster Intelligencer, “Poetry and Turkey for Business Men.” Poem by Mayor Frank B. McClain

One photocopy from the Lancaster New Era, “Chamber of Commerce Feast a Great Success.”


Folder 7 Loose newspaper article from Book 2 Pages 32-33

One photocopy from newspaper “A Hundred Years Ago”


Folder 8 Loose newspaper article from Book 2 Pages 38-39

One photocopy from newspaper a continuation of “State Convention of Hotel Men”


Folder 9 Loose newspaper article from Book 2 Pages 74-75

One photocopy from newspaper “A.D. Men’s Banquet”


Folder 10 Loose newspaper article from Book 2 Pages 94-95

One photocopy from newspaper “Bal Masque A Big Success”


Folder 11 Loose newspaper article from Book 2 Pages 110-111

One photocopy from newspaper “’14 End Year at the Banquet Board”


Folder 12 Loose newspaper article from Book 2 Pages 120-121

One photocopy from newspaper “Wheatland Hotel Days Numbered”


Folder 13 Loose newspaper article from Book 2 Pages 122-123

One photocopy from newspaper “Lieut. Governor Honored by Young Republicans”


Folder 14 One photocopy of a Political mudslinging broadside towards William Griest