|Esther & John Faughnan 1909
|Jim Dolan & Judy & Deb
|May 6, 1948
Shanley Dinning Room
|Shanley Family Easter 1906
James Shanley & Friends 1914
|The Colonial Hotel & Neighboring building (The first
hotel before it burned down.)
In a picture postcard setting with views of the Shawangunk Mountains in the distance, in a sleepy little hamlet of the historic Hudson Valley is the Shanley Hotel. No
matter where you seemed to go, someone had a great time at Shanley's.
From the late 1800's to the early 1900's the Shanley Hotel was a summer vacation destination and had been the resting stop on the railroad for many a weary
traveler. It was the towns favorite watering hole and home for the hard workers during the D&H Canal to the Industrial age. Aka....tending to the nobility ,consisting of a
'Private Gentleman's Club Quarters' doors only opened to their distinguish members and availability to the 'Ladies'.
The original hotel was first built by Thomas Ritch in 1845, claiming in a local newspaper to be, "one of the area's best with fine food and new furnishing." In 1851 it
became Hungerford's Hotel, "one of the most beautiful and commodious public houses to be found in any section of the country." Several owners later, Adolph
Wagner, a popular landlord, bought the hotel in January of 1887. On March 18, 1895 trouble came when a nearby house caught fire. It spread to the hotel, burning
it down to the foundation. By September, the new frame was up and in November it was open to the public once again.
There have been many owners since then but the one who seemed to have placed The Napanoch Hotel on the map was James Louis Shanley. He was born in
Ireland on October 31 (Halloween), 1874 and moved with his family to New York City. James and his brothers were successful business men, opening many elegant
restaurants and Hotels across the country. He moved upstate and purchased the hotel on October 1, 1906. In 1908 he added a bowling alley, billiard room and
barber shop to the building.
James Shanley was a gallant man and well loved in the community. He married Beatrice Rowley on April 26,1910. The town turned out for an 'good old time
skimmerton ,with a grand parade welcoming back the honeymooners from Washington D.C..
The Shanleys welcomed everyone, with entertainment, card and domino torments, as well as glorious parties and holding special events.
The rich and famous were also fans of the Shanleys. Thomas Edison and Eleanor Roosevelt were frequent guests and close friends. The Shanleys attended the
Inaugural Ball in Washington for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt took particular care on making the arrangements. In 1933, Eleanor and her
friend motored from Rosco to Hyde Park, stopping at the Shanley's for a social visit.
Cheerful times were without hardships and the hotel had their share. Mrs. Beatrice Shanley had three children, all of which died within nine months of birth. Beatrice
was known for her high teas and social card parties. Extravagant perfumes, priceless jewelry, and fancy clothing adorned her petite figure. Garnished on her Victorian
bed were sheets made of satin and silk. Apparently, she adored children, allowing them to take their afternoon naps on her bed.
Mrs. Shanley's sister, Esther Faughman, and brother in-law, John Faughman, lived in an adjoining apartment. Esther was a beautiful woman with a big heart. She
yearned for her friends and family back home in New York City, and patiently waited by the mahogany telephone booth each day for the phone to ring. Sadly, she
died, leaving her precious little girls for Beatrice and James to raise.
The hotel's barber suffered tragedy likewise, when his 4 year old daughter drowned in the well. There were several other accidental deaths, missing persons and
rumors of murder through out the years.
In 1937 the community suffered a great loss when James endured a heart attack and died August 26th. Several priests attended to his funeral services. Among the
many expressions of sorrow and sympathy sent from far and near to Mrs. Shanley, was one from Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, wife of the President of the United
States. Mrs. Roosevelt sent flowers to Mrs. Shanley and in a accompanying letter expressed regret that she had not known of Mr. Shanley's death in time so that she
might have attended the funeral.
In 1944, Beatrice sold the hotel to Allen Hazen and moved back to NYC. Interestingly, Al Hazen was born and had died the same days (different years) as James
Shanley. The owners of the hotel over the years were mostly family oriented yet welcome travelers far and near. If the hotel wasn't your home, it was definitely your
Ownership changed hands repeatedly soon after Mr. Hazen's death, eventually leaving the hotel vacant and in distress. Under the current dedicated ownership of
Salvatore Nicosia the hotel is being lovingly restored to his former glory, salvaging its memories and atoning its noble history. After a one night stay, visitors feel the
same, it is their home too.
|Mr. and Mrs. Shanley
visited the President's
home and would stay
for several weeks, as
well as Eleanor to the
Shanley Hotel. They
use their 'nobility' to
raise money for local
charities by holding
many Events and