Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Yorktowne Hotel, York, PA

For my trip to York, Pennsylvania this week I decided to stay in the historic Yorktowne Hotel.  A change of scenery from the sameness of a generic hotel chain.  The hotel was built in 1925 and is listed in the book (and on the website) Historic Hotels of America.  I didn’t take any pictures at the hotel.  It sits very close to the street and to park you must go down a block and through an alley to get to the parking garage on the side of the building where you are then forced to valet park your vehicle.  Inside, I instantly thought of the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, SC which is also on the Historic Hotel circuit.

My two experiences with this genre are making me wonder if all Historic Hotels seem this tired.  My room didn’t look like it had been updated since the 1980’s:  Peeling wallpaper, sad linens, foggy windows.  There was an upgrade in the bathroom, a nice marble shower surround.  That’s it, everything else in the bathroom will have to wait, including the nasty looking acoustic tile drop-ceiling that I kept hitting while drying my hair.

I tried to find information about the hotel being haunted because if it isn’t, it should be.  First of all, a ton of famous people have stayed here, as evidenced by the lists in the elevator. Many of them are now deceased.

That's right, Mickey & Minnie Mouse once stayed at the Yorktowne.  I might have slept in the same bed they once slept in.  Gives you a sense of awe doesn't it?  There was a second list in the other elevator that listed mainly political figures.

York itself is quite old.  During the Revolutionary War, the city served as the nation's capital.  The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation here.  You can’t walk five feet in this town without tripping over one of these three things:

At the intersection near the hotel I saw 5 of these and a WWII monument.

This sign was on so many buildings & houses I gave up counting. 

There are several churches within a few blocks of the hotel and they all had very old cemeteries.  I did realize that when I go I want someone to figure out my age down the last moment like they did back then.

Walking back from dinner, I even found this in the alley directly behind the hotel and assume that people on one side of the hall see this out of their window (if it isn’t fogged over that is):

I have never seen headstones leaning up against the wall of a church before.  I saw this at a few of the other churches too but couldn't find anyone who could explain why this was done.

I did find one reference that the 4th and 5th floors were haunted but I was on the 5th floor and I didn’t experience anything other than concern about walking on the carpet with my socks off.

I will probably be back with the Holiday Inn/Hilton family soon but as I mentioned earlier this week I am taking a poetry/photography class and the hotel kindly inspired this:

The Yorktowne Hotel

I wonder who sat here before me
and even before them
and if they noticed
the crack in the ceiling
or the tear in the wallpaper
or the dust-bunnies building a family nest
underneath the desk.
Did they, like me, wish to be
Somewhere Else?
Not just anywhere else
but Somewhere Else,
that place where I will soon go
to find you waiting patiently for me.

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