Young's Hotel (Boston)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Young's Hotel, Court Street, Boston, c. 1910s

Young's Hotel (1860–1927) in Boston, Massachusetts, was located on Court Street in the Financial District,[1] in a building designed by William Washburn. George Young established the business, later taken over by Joseph Reed Whipple and George G. Hall.[2] Guests at Young's included Mark Twain, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, William Lloyd Garrison, Charles Sumner, Rutherford B. Hayes, and numerous others.


Private currency issued by Young's Hotel, 1862. The individual depicted is Nathaniel Banks, former Massachusetts governor and Civil War general.)

Prior to opening his hotel, Connecticut-born George Young had worked for the Hampden House, Springfield, Mass.; United States Hotel, Worcester; and the Old Cornhill Coffee-House, Boston. In 1850 he bought the Cornhill Coffee-House from its aged proprietor, Mr. Taft. "In 1860 the Fifty Associates erected a new building [on the site of the coffee-house], known as 'Young's Hotel,' of which Mr. Young continued as proprietor. In 1876 he sold out his interest"[3] for $65,000 to Joseph Reed Whipple and George G. Hall (former employees of Parker's Hotel).[4]

Young's became one of the first buildings in Boston installed with electric lights (1881).[5] Whipple & Hall built an addition on the hotel in 1882. Frank Hill Smith designed its dining room: "a large and rather low studded apartment, broken by pilasters and beams into three bays. At the end of it is a long mantel and fire-place. ... The walls ... are covered above the red mahogany wainscot with stamped leather of golden arabesque figurings on a groundwork of reddish brown. The semi-circular arches over the windows are filled with stained glass. ... The mantel curves into the room, and is supported by Ionic columns quite clear of the carved griffins. The fireplace is highly ornamental, and is built up of the Chelsea tile, the main feature of which is a bas-relief of dancing figures. Chandeliers and side-sconces of brass in dead finish brighten the room at the proper points, and the outer light is shaded by fleecy hangings. ... This room is 100 feet long by 31 feet wide, and has tables of various size for seating 150 guests."[6]

In the 1880s, according to one report, "Boston's chief center of mild dissipation is Young's Hotel" with its pool tables and card-playing Harvard students. "The billiard room at Young's -- the most frequent in town -- is very much like all other billiard rooms, save for its extra gorgeousness. There are always to be seen the expert players at the exhibition tables, who perform all sorts of bewildering caroms, as if unconscious of the admiring crowd that looks on."[7] Further, "here one may see in the afternoon or evening the swellest students from Harvard, in cape coats and patent leather shoes exhibiting the very latest fashions in dress, and toting canes like small trees knobbed with silver. ... You need not be surprised if, as you pass the hotel desk, you see a party of five or six young men inquiring for a room ... [for a] poker party."[7] After a "disturbance" in 1891, Whipple decreed the hotel would "allow no large bodies of Harvard students to dine ... hereafter."[8]

Young's dining room, c. 1910
Portrait of J.R. Whipple, proprietor, c. 1893

J.R. Whipple continued as owner when the partnership with George Hall dissolved in 1887. Around this time Whipple & Co. also owned the Parker House hotel and Hotel Touraine. In 1892 he instituted an employee policy "compelling all ... waiters to remove their beards." The Boston Waiters' Alliance "embracing every hotel and restaurant in the city" resolved to resist, and were prepared to strike if Whipple fired "those who do not comply."[9]

A travel guidebook described Young's in 1895: "The main entrance to this hotel is on Court Avenue, and the hotel extends to Court Square and Court Street. It is one of the largest and best of the hotels on the European plan. One of the features of this hotel is the ladies' dining-room, the entrance to which is on the Court Street side. This is a handsomely decorated room 100 feet long and 31 feet wide. It connects with other large dining-rooms, and a cafe for gentlemen on the ground floor. This hotel is a favorite place with New Yorkers. ... Recognized as among the best [hotel restaurants in the city] are those connected with Young's Hotel, the Parker House, and the Adams House. That of Young's Hotel is very extensive, occupying a large part of the ground floor of that establishment. It has dining-rooms for ladies and gentlemen, lunch rooms, and convenient lunch and oyster counters."[10]

The hotel closed in 1927.[11] Thereafter the building was temporarily occupied by the Boston Weather Service (1929–1933).[12] The structure was demolished around 1940.[13]

Hotel guests[edit]

Young's Hotel lobby, c. 1910

Events at the hotel[edit]

19th century[edit]

  • 1865
    • Massachusetts Democratic State Central Committee meeting[16]
  • 1870
  • 1871
  • 1873
    • "Boston Grange, Order of Patrons of Husbandry" established[21]
  • 1874
  • 1877
    • Massachusetts 22nd Infantry and 3rd Battery Association annual dinner and reunion[24]
    • Loyal Legion reception for President Rutherford B. Hayes[25]
Menu cover for dinner honoring William Lloyd Garrison, 1878
  • 1878
  • 1879
  • 1880
  • 1883
    • Boston Society of Civil Engineers 1st annual dinner[32]
  • 1884
    • Nov. 22 - Charles H. Hill "eats crow" after Grover Cleveland defeats James G. Blaine in the U.S. presidential election. As reported in a local newspaper: "Before the election an agreement was made between Charles H. Hill and Fred W. Webber of Newton that if Cleveland was elected Hill was to eat crow, and if Blaine won Webber was to eat crow. This morning a crow was killed and sent to Young's hotel. At 6:30 o'clock to night, in the presence of Dr. Webber and eighteen other gentlemen, Mr. Hill sat down to a crow feast which had been prepared, and in anticipation of which he had been fasting since yesterday."[33]
    • Beacon Society's Commercial Club and Merchants Club dinner[34]
  • 1888
    • Boston Life Underwriter's Association meeting[34]
  • 1889
    • Cambridge Club "Ladies Night"[34]
    • Inglewood Fish and Game Corporation annual meeting[35]
"Men's Dining Room," Young's, c. 1910
Young's Hotel, Court St., Boston, c. 1910
  • 1890
    • American Academy of Dental Science annual meeting[36]
    • Boston Law School alumni dinner[37]
  • 1891
    • 5th Massachusetts Battery Light Artillery Association 21st reunion meal[34]
    • Boston Society of Civil Engineers annual dinner[38]
    • Textile Club meeting[39]
  • 1892
  • 1894
    • Boston Druggists annual meeting[40]
    • Dorchester Yacht Club annual dinner[41]
  • 1895
    • Chickatawbut Club annual meeting and dinner[34]
  • 1896
    • Theta Delta Chi fraternity annual convention[42]
    • Boston Life Underwriters' Association annual meeting[43]
    • James H. Eckels, Comptroller of the Currency, addresses the Massachusetts Reform Club[44]
  • 1897
  • 1899
    • Boston Boot and Shoe Club dinner[34]

20th century[edit]

  • 1905
    • Boston Co-operative Flower Growers' Association annual meeting and dinner[46]
  • 1906
  • 1907
    • County of Middlesex Bar Association, "complimentary dinner to Charles F. McIntire"
  • 1908
    • New England Railroad Club meeting[47]
  • 1909
    • Seventh Annual Dinner of the Members by Inheritance of the Massachusetts Commandary of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, and One Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Abraham Lincoln[48]
  • 1912
    • New England Association of Gas Engineers annual meeting[49]
  • 1914
    • National Bank Cashiers' Association of Massachusetts, annual meeting and dinner[50]
  • 1915
  • 1920
    • New England Confectioners' Club dinner[52]
  • 1921
    • Foundation of the British Officers' Club of New England[53]


  1. ^ Boston Directory. 1891
  2. ^ "Joseph Reed Whipple." National cyclopaedia of American biography, v.4. NY: J. T. White company, 1893
  3. ^ Oliver Ayer Roberts. History of the Military Company of the Massachusetts, now called, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts: 1637–1888, Volume 3. Boston: A. Mudge & Son, 1898
  4. ^ Hartford Daily Courant; Date: 02-10-1876
  5. ^ Electric Light in Boston. Daily Picayune (New Orleans); Date: 03-27-1881
  6. ^ Bacon's dictionary of Boston. 1886
  7. ^ a b Columbus Enquirer-Sun; Date: 02-14-1889
  8. ^ New Hampshire Sentinel; Date: 06-17-1891
  9. ^ Will Not Remove Their Beards: Waiters at Young's Hotel in Boston May Not Obey Orders and a General Strike May Follow. New Haven Evening Register; Date: 03-15-1892
  10. ^ Rand, McNally & Co.'s handy guide to Boston and environs. 1895
  11. ^ Boston Loses Civic Tradition With Closing of Young's Hotel. Christian Science Monitor. May 9, 1927
  12. ^ U.S. National Weather Service. "A Brief History of the Boston Weather Bureau". 
  13. ^ Young's Hotel To Pass From Boston Scene. Christian Science Monitor. Oct 1, 1940
  14. ^ That Walk to Boston. Mark Twain And Mr. Twitchell As Pedestrians. Hartford Daily Courant; Date: 11-16-1874
  15. ^ Ray Allen Billington. Frederick Jackson Turner Visits New England: 1887. New England Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Sep., 1968)
  16. ^ Organization of the Democratic State Committee. Pittsfield Sun; Date: 10-12-1865
  17. ^ Hartford Daily Courant; Date: 02-01-1870
  18. ^ The Constitution (Middletown, Connecticut); Date: 04-12-1871
  19. ^ New England Press Association--Election of Officers. Hartford Daily Courant; Date: 06-08-1871
  20. ^ American Anti-slavery Anniversary. Hartford Daily Courant; Date: 09-30-1871
  21. ^ Organization of the Boston Grange, Order of Patrons of Husbandry. Daily Picayune.; Date: 08-22-1873
  22. ^ Reunion of New Hampshire Officers. New Hampshire Patriot; Date: 12-02-1874
  23. ^ Hartford Daily Courant; Date: 12-30-1874
  24. ^ John Lord Parker. Henry Wilson's Regiment: history of the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry, the 2nd Company Sharpshooters, and the 3rd Light Battery, in the war of the rebellion. Boston: Regimental Assoc., 1887
  25. ^ President Hayes: a tour in New England. Philadelphia Inquirer; Date: 06-27-1877
  26. ^ Menu, Young's Hotel, Boston, October 14, 1878
  27. ^ Silver Anniversary. Lake Superior News (Minnesota); Date: 05-15-1879
  28. ^ New Hampshire Sentinel; Date: 12-18-1879
  29. ^ Farewell dinner to Francis Ellingwood Abbot, on retiring from the editorship of "The Index" at Young's hotel, Boston, June 24, 1880: Full report of the speeches, together with numerous letters from absent friends in America and England. Boston: Press of Geo. H. Ellis, 1880
  30. ^ The Continentals In Boston. The Military Dinner--A Notable and Significant Occasion at Young's--Earnest and Patriotic Interchange of Sentiments by Northern and Southern Speakers. Times-Picayune (New Orleans); Date: 06-22-1880
  31. ^ General Grant. A Humorous Political Speech. Philadelphia Inquirer; Date: 10-16-1880
  32. ^ Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies, Feb. 1883
  33. ^ Eating Crow at Young's: A Bostonian Who Bet on Blaine Settles for His Rashness Last Evening. New Haven Evening Register; Date: 11-23-1884
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h "Miss Frank E. Buttolph American Menu Collection, 1851-1930". New York Public Library. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  35. ^ American Angler, April 20, 1889
  36. ^ The Dental Cosmos, Feb. 1891
  37. ^ Boston Journal, June 1890
  38. ^ Railroad and Engineering Journal, April 1891
  39. ^ "National Textile Club". U.S. National Textile Association. 
  40. ^ American druggist and pharmaceutical record, Feb. 1, 1894
  41. ^ Dorchester Atheneum. "Dorchester Yacht Club". 
  42. ^ American University Magazine, Jan. 1896
  43. ^ Annual cyclopedia of insurance in the United States, 1895–1896. Hartford, CT: H.R. Hayden, 1896
  44. ^ Comptroller J. H. Eckels: Addresses the Massachusetts Reform Club at Young's ... Extols the Gold Standard. Wheeling Register (West Virginia); Date: 02-29-1896
  45. ^ Boston medical and surgical journal, Jan. 28, 1897
  46. ^ Horticulture (Boston), Nov. 4, 1905
  47. ^ New England Railroad Club, Oct. 13, 1908
  48. ^ University of Delaware (1994). "An American Feast: Food, Dining, and Entertainment in the United States from Simmons to Rombauer". 
  49. ^ The Gas Industry, Volume 12, Jan. 1912
  50. ^ The Banker's Magazine, 1914
  51. ^ Thaw Cheered Jerome Hooted on Way to N.Y.: Thousands Greet Prisoner on Arrival in Boston Police Having Hard Time. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas); Date: 01-24-1915
  52. ^ The American sugar family, April 13, 1920
  53. ^ British Officers' Club of New England (2012). "Brief History of the BOCNE". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Raid on Boston Hotels. Trenton State Gazette, 02-06-1874
  • Hotels and Nuisances. New Hampshire Patriot; Date: 04-01-1874
  • Suicide by a Pittsburger. Wheeling Daily Register (West Virginia); Date: 11-18-1878
  • Liquor Law in Boston: The Big Hotels Admit Guests by Card to the Barrooms. Macon Telegraph, 11-10-1885
  • Bacon's dictionary of Boston. 1886.
  • Young's Hotel and Election Day. New Haven Register. Date: 12-27-1888
  • No Bill Against Whipple of Young's Hotel. New Haven Register. Date: 01-12-1889
  • Mild Dissipation: The Chief Center in Boston is Young's Hotel. Columbus Enquirer-Sun (Georgia); Date: 02-14-1889
  • Suicide in Young's Hotel: Woman Takes a Room and Makes Deliberate Preparations to Kill Herself. New Haven Evening Register; Date: 02-04-1898
  • About the farm: an illustrated description of the New Boston Dairy and other industries at Valley View, Muzzey, and Hutchinson farms, which are a part of the supply department of Young's Hotel, Parker House, and Hotel Touraine. Boston: Printed for J. R. Whipple Company, 1910.
  • Famous Hotelman Was J. R. Whipple: Boston Knew Him as an Expert Farmer and a Genius as a Tavernkeeper. Duluth News Tribune (Minnesota); Date: 07-18-1912

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′31.96″N 71°3′29.2″W / 42.3588778°N 71.058111°W / 42.3588778; -71.058111