In the days before the Hampton Inn or Super 8 motel, Newcomerstown once had four hotels in town. Between those four hotels there were a total of 70 rooms for rent, and it was not unusual for all four hotels to have full capacity nearly every night.
The four hotels located in Newcomerstown, each in operation for many years, were the Fountain Hotel, Central Hotel (also known as the Central House), Globe Hotel, and the Mitchel Hotel (later known as the Maurer Hotel, then much later as the Keith Hotel). The Fountain was located just behind the Union Station railroad depot on Bridge Street. The Fountain was rightly named so because of the existence a beautiful water fountain that once stood in the yard. The Fountain Hotel was built by M. Mayberry in 1876 at the time the nearby Pennsylvania and C&M railroads were just starting to become the popular mode for traveling. The Ohio-Erie Canal located in the middle of Newcomerstown was gradually becoming less favored by travelers.
The Fountain and Mitchel Hotels were in an ideal location, right near the depot where passengers could easily find their sleeping quarters for the night, and leave on the morning or afternoon train for their intended destination. The Fountain had fifteen rooms, as well as a lunch counter, and a formal dining room where their patrons could get a sandwich or a complete meal. The Fountain Hotel was a popular establishment, and was the leading hotel in Newcomerstown during the 1890s and early 1900s.
In 1895, John Cooley purchased the Fountain Hotel from Mayberry, and owned the Fountain until it ceased business. Cooley was no stranger to the hotel business as in 1929 he started a much larger hotel venture on Canal Street. The intended plan was never realized, as the Great Depression hit Newcomerstown, and Cooley was unable to finish the project due to the lack of funds. The four-story, yellow brick building remains standing to this day, and has changed ownership many times over the years since Cooley had owned it. It has been used for various purposes over the years, but never as its' intended purpose.
In June 1946, the Darrell O. Beiter VFW (organized in 1935) purchased the Fountain Hotel building where it served as the VFW Post headquarters until the mid 1950s. The former Fountain Hotel building was later condemned and razed in June 1957.
The Mitchel Hotel, owned by Porter Mitchel sat adjacent to the depot (across Bridge Street) where the parking lot for Newcomerstown Senior Citizens Center is now located.
It later became known as the Maurer Hotel, and remained so for many years. Herbert Keith eventually purchased the establishment in December, 1947 and it was known as the Keith Hotel up until it ceased operation sometime in the late 1960s. The building was vacant for more than several years, and was later razed in March 1977.
The Globe Hotel was formerly located at the corner of Canal and Bridge Street near the current site of the Touraine Club. The Globe was a three story, wooden structure, having been built around the 1850s. The hotel was in business for many years, closing in the early 1930s. The building slowly fell into disrepair and was razed. The empty lot was sold to Harvey & Lottie Reger in October 1942. The lot eventually was purchased by the Lenzo family for parking, and the construction of an addition to the Touraine Club building.
The Central Hotel (Central House) was in business from about 1900 through the late 1930s. The Central Hotel slowly faded out of popularity with less patrons being interested in a sleeping room, and looking more for a place to dine. The Central Luncheonette opened in the former hotel for business in May 1940. The business later changed owners several times over the years. Many local residents still recall when Skip & Ruth Hurst owned the Luncheonette during the 1960s, and it was the place where many NHS students went after school for a Coke, burger, and fries. A few of the ladies that cooked and waited tables during the mid 1960s were Mary Mason Watts, Arlene Jones, and Susie Wise. The business changed ownership a couple more times during its' last remaining years.
The Luncheonette served several generations of Newcomerstown residents up through the mid 1980s when it finally ceased operation completely, and the town lost one of its' local landmarks. The former Luncheonette building was later razed and it is now no more than a distant memory.