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It is said that the honorable Samuel Hutchins built what is now the Waterford Hotel at 213 High Street, Waterford, PA in the 1840’s as a private home. Samuel Hutchins was born in Vermont in 1787 and died in Waterford on February 8, 1868 at the age of 81. Samuel married, wife Sophia 1802-1851.  They were laid to rest in the Waterford Cemetery.

From 1819 – 1820 Mr. Hutchins was the Waterford Post Master. He was also a store merchant in partnership with Amos Judson of Waterford from 1824 – 1847. They first ran a dry goods store on East 1st street between Cherry and Chestnut Streets. In the early 1830’s they had the three story brick building built on the northwest corner of West 1st and High Streets. The last business in that building was Joe’s Auto Parts, which is no longer there. In 1833 Samuel Hutchins held the office “Overseer of the Poor” in Waterford. He was a State Assembly-man from 1838 – 1839 and an Erie County Associate Judge from 1856 – 1861.

In the 1850 Erie County census, Samuel Hutchins was living in Waterford on the corner of East South Park Row and High Streets. Sixteen people were living on his property.

In the 1860 Erie County census, Samuel Hutchins was 73. The 2 other people living in his residence were Lucinda and Sophia (Samuel’s youngest daughter). Sophia later moved to Erie and married W.C. White in 1861. Samuel’s son Clinton and his wife lived in the house until their deaths. It was sold at a sheriff ’s sale in 1901 for $5,000.00 to a John and Eloise Phelps who made it into the Waterford Hotel. On November 5, 1903 it was sold to John and Margaret Henry. The Henrys’ daughter Evangline “Eva” Henry (1884-1971) married Waterford dentist, Dr. Raleigh Barnes (1884-1954) in the Hotel and it was said her veil flowed down the length of the front staircase. It was a such a fabulous wedding that it was talked about for a long time in Waterford.

The house/hotel was vacant for a few years in the 1890’s. I read when Dr. Theodore Barton’s big Victorian house at 29 South Park Row burned, Dr. Barton lived in the vacant house/ hotel for a short time. Someone told me a Blystone family lived in it a while as well. Blystone and Harrison Phelps Gillette were the names on the sheriff sale as “trustees” for the property, possibly because they were on the Waterford town council. Since the 1900’s it has had several owners and names, including the Camp Inn, the Green Goose Inn and the Lincoln Hotel. I went to the Erie County Courthouse and traced the owners from current back to the 1901 Sheriff ’s Sale. The “Wishart Papers” in the Waterford Library tell about the Hutchins family living in the house/hotel. The 1865 map census shows the Hutchins lived on the property as well .

 – By Yvonne Boyle (2012)

Edited August 2014