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The Fox Hotel*


Little historical information on this specific hotel is available; one source lists it as being erected in the early 1930s; however, I’ve found an ad for it in a 1923 newspaper also. Prohibition damaged the area’s hops industry, and during the depression the resort town’s rail service was discontinued. While the post-World War II years saw a small increase in popularity, the overall decline continued. By the late 1960s the Fox Hotel was being used as a yeshiva.

The 1980s saw the closure of many hotels and boardinghouses in the area, and in the years that followed many were demolished or burned. Several attempts were made to resuscitate the town as a resort destination, with mixed success. By the turn of the 21st century many of the hotels were gone or abandoned, but a few remained open.

The Fox Hotel—given its pseudonym in honor of the sole remaining resident, a fox who had built a nest in one of the mattresses—was badly deteriorated when I photographed it. The staircase had listed to the right and the slant was noticeable and unsettling when ascending it. The front porch was gone and the property was overgrown with trees and weeds. The lobby floor was rippled and gave a sense that it could collapse at any time, and many of the hallways in the upper floors had begun to sag. The ornamental pressed-tin ceilings hung in tatters and the carpet was threadbare. Nevertheless, many of the vacationers’ personal items remained: a wheelchair in the hallway, a book of prayers, a blue dress still hanging on the wall. As with many popular resort destinations, the fall from favor had come at a high cost. Slowly but surely the remaining bits of its identity are being stripped away by demolition and exposure to the elements.

Please note that the true name of this location has not been disclosed to prevent theft, vandalism, and arson. Abandoned buildings are vulnerable and I do not want my work contributing to their decline. Photographs and unattributed text by Matthew Christopher. For more images click the thumbnails below. If you'd like to learn more about this location, it is a featured chapter in the new Abandoned America book Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences. Signed copies are available here, or you can find (unsigned) copies available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other online booksellers across the globe.