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Columbia Hall
 
Category:Tourism

Columbia Hall was originally built in 1794 by William Nichols as a small hotel.  It was acquired by Caleb Hull about 1800. The Hull family commenced a series of improvements which ultimately resulted in a resort hotel which accommodated 300 guests.  It was situated on 38 acres which included a croquet lawn, woodland rambles and several spacious buildings for indoor amusements as well as the Thermal Spring and Bath House.

 

It was acquired in 1871 by Daniel Gale who made extensive improvements and alterations  hoping to return Columbia Hall and Lebanon Springs to its former glory.

Unfortunately, after the Civil War, the lack of dependable rail service had a depressing impact on tourism in the Lebanon Valley. Several railroad companies were formed over the subsequent 50 years none of which proved to be sustainable.

In 1913 its owners optimistically expected that better train service on the Chatham Division of the Rutland, together with the automobile, would restore the town’s reputation, and in the summer of 1913, Columbia Hall evidently did quite well: 200 guests made reservations for the season, and it was anticipated that the hotel would be filled to capacity by mid-summer.” Nevertheless, summer visitors were not enough to pay for its upkeep, and the last paying guest left the hotel in 1914.

The hotel was finally demolished in 1925, effectively marking the end of a 135-year history of a resort community.