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COLONY_small.JPG (2351 bytes)
Colony Hotel
Photo courtesy of

Mr. Jack Swerman, AIA

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Picture Business Name Location Owner/Operator Dates of Operation Comments:
  ? 2nd & Parker Fred Brooks early  
  ? 5th & Lamokin Fred Baldt early  
Adams Hotel Joseph W. McKay, Sr. [Obituary] was the owner & operator for 25 years.
  Arcade Hotel "Head of Market St." Jacob Roth (Manager 1902) ? - 1914 - ? Was previously the site of a mansion built by Samuel Edwards.
  Aubrey Hotel 3rd & Howell St. Joseph Stauffer - 1899 -  
  Central Hotel   W. O. Price, former proprietor as of September 1902    
  Chelsea Hotel 314 W 3rd St. Joseph & John Mrsic, proprietors beginning December 1952    

hotel_chester_arms_c1936_small.jpg (2062 bytes)
Photo courtesy of
Terry Redden Peters,
in memory of her grandparents,

Frank and Bertha Packer.

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(Click on the images to see a larger version.)

Chester Arms Hotel (6) Edgmont Ave. above 4th     "My grandfather George Shober (Schober) ...
In response to one note I noticed about the CHESTER HOTEL, George Shober built the THE CHESTER ARMS HOTEL, in 1918 on Edgmont Avenue near 5th. I don't know if this is the same hotel, I believe he sold it about 1930."

L. Wolters,

"The Chester Arms Hotel was sold around the end of 1927 and purchased by the Morakis Brothers, George, Gus, Dimitrios, Nick and their cousins the Frangos Brothers. They turned the first floor into a soda fountain and they all lived upstairs. In 1929 Irene was born on the second floor, 1930 Dimitria was born on the second floor and in 1931 James was born there too as in those days foreigners were leary of hospitals. It was a soda fountain, it's name I'm not sure, I was told the SunRay Fountain, but how true I do not know, until approximately 1950 when it was sold to the Brown family who made it into the Chester Arms Pharmacy."

Thanks to
Maria Calombaris Adamidia,

"Chester Arms Hotel, located across from the post office on Edgemont Avenue,  During the 1940's the hotel was leased by Louis Weiss, New York City and run by his son, Albert Weiss until about 1950. I had my 16th birthday ball at the hotel in 1959, when I believe it was run by the Kesselman brothers at that time. The hotel site then became a shelter, but never the Chester Arms Pharmacy was located on the North corner of 6th [5th] & Edgmmont."

Thanks to Mike Sapovits,

  Colonnade Hotel   T. S. Williamson, Proprietor 1903   From the Souvenir History of Chester, PA under the auspices of the Board of Trade Published by George M. Burns, Philadelphia, PA 1903
courtesy of Terry Redden Peters
  Colonial Inn /
Billy Ritchies Hotel
Chester Pike, Ridley Twp. James F. (Baron) Dougherty 1846 (?) - 1974 Destroyed by fire October 1974.
  Colonnade Hotel 10 W. 3rd St.   - 1924 -  

COLONY_small.JPG (2351 bytes)
Photo above courtesy of
Mr. Jack Swerman, AIA
(Click on the image to see a larger version)

hotels_colony.jpg (31383 bytes)
April 2002 photo
(Click on the image to see a larger version)

Colony Hotel 511 Welsh St.


  1921 - ? The Colony Hotel was built in 1921 to house "The Chester Club".

Also featured fine dining, banquets and meeting rooms.

"I loved going there as a kid. They had the best crab imperial."
Eleanor Triboletti, Berkeley, Ca.

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Columbia Hotel 5th & Market St.,
NE Corner
Hon. William Anderson (1796-1814)

Nimrod Maxwell (March 2, 1814 - 1821; April 12, 1830, sold by Sheriff to The Bank of Delaware County; March 13, 1833, sold to Thomas Ewing and Eliza his wife.)

Leased to John J. Thurlow in 1821

Mrs. Elizabeth (Wilson) Appleby purchased in 1857; her son Thomas Appleby was landlord until 1885.

1736-1883 "The Columbia House occupied the corner of Fifth and Market street, where the Cambridge Building now stands. Erected in 1736, it was licensed as a tavern in 1746. Herein, on the night of September 11, 1777, the wounds of Marquis de Lafayette, received at the Battle of Brandywine, were dressed. The famous hostelry was honored by a visit from Lafayette during his sojourn in this country in October, 1824. From the veranda shown in the picture (which is the only one known to exist) Major James Clark, Jr., an officer on General Greene's staff, in plain citizen's dress, was detailed by General Washington to watch Lord Cornwallis' troops, 3000 strong, march through Chester on their way to subjugate the fort at Billingsport, New Jersey, Sunday, November 18,1777."

From "Chester, PA Ancient & Modern, published by Spencer Stationery Company 1904" - Courtesy of Lou Calvarese

The Chester-Cambridge Bank & Trust building was erected on this site in 1923.

  Edgmont Hotel   John J. Evans, proprietor 1902 ? - 1902 - ?  
  Eddystone Hotel 600 Morton Ave.   c. 1902 - 1924 - ? Built c. 1902 by Slawter Brothers of Chester for the Chester Brewing Co.
  Famous Hotel 305 Market St.      

business_hotel_franklin_sanbe.jpg (32557 bytes)
Photo courtesy of Alfonso Sanbe

Franklin Hotel 3rd & Concord Ave. Alfonso Sanbe
Vincent Sanbe

business_hotels_fulton_.jpg (26778 bytes)
Photo courtesy of
Dorothy Walker, Philadelphia, PA

Fulton Hotel Front & Fulton St. Michael Frank, Prop. Thanks to Joe Walker, Philadelphia, PA

business_hotels_hope_anchor.jpg (26689 bytes)
Photo c. 1917 courtesy of Nancy Crossman, from a photo album belonging to Beatrice A. Thompson.

Hope's Anchor Tavern SW corner 4th & Market St.     Erected before 1736, Later the Swan Hotel. Removed in 1921 for the Swan Apartments.
  Howard Johnson's 1300 Providence Ave.   c. 1972 - c. 2000 Ground was broken for the construction of this hotel on July 26, 1972.

The building is currently "Philadelphia Airport Days Inn".

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(Click on the image to see a larger version)

Imperial Hotel

also later known as the Midtown Inn

7th & Welsh St. Frank W. Harrison, Proprietor 1914

later as the Midtown Inn:

Andy Subashi
Lou Subashi &
George Bergdoll

  Keystone Hotel 7th & Central Ave. Ed Frye   Mr. Frye was also a Coroner in Delaware County.
  Mal-Tone Hotel & Restaurant 9th & Morton Ave.   - 1949 - February 1949: Gene Autry & troupe stopped for lunch on their way home from Philadelphia.
  Midtown Inn   Andy Subashi
Lou Subashi &
George Bergdoll
  See the Imperial Hotel
Moon Glow ? - 1942 - ? From a "Travel Guide of Negro Hotels and Guest Houses", published by Afro-American Newspapers, 1942.
  Philadelphia Airport Days Inn 1300 Providence Ave.   c. 2001 - Present Formerly Howard Johnson's Hotel.
Royal Hotel 6th St.

(across from the train station)

Ralph Dimanico, owner

Joe Egan, last manager

Other known employees:

Gloria (Bullock) Wingfield (1970's)

? - Razed c. 1978 Thanks to

"The Royal Hotel was torn down sometime around 1978. My mom [Gloria (Bullock) Wingfield] worked as a bartender there during the 70s. It's last manager was a gentleman by the name of Joe Egan and was owned by a gentleman named Ralph Dimanico. It wasn't really a hotel in the traditional sense, but it did have tenants who rented the rooms on a monthly basis."

Thanks to
John W. Wingfield, Jr.
Elkton, KY

business_hotels_steamboat.jpg (22936 bytes)
Photo c. 1917 courtesy of Nancy Crossman, from a photo album belonging to Beatrice A. Thompson.

Steamboat Hotel   Wilhelm Vogel & Marie Dautel Vogel   "I am interested in any information about my grandmotherís family. Her parents were Wilhelm Vogel and Marie Dautel Vogel who at one time owned the Steamboat Hotel in Chester. Her siblings were William Vogel, Emma Vogel Boushelle, and Lillian Vogel Kelley.

Kenneth R. Wells
Orlando, FL
  Sun Hotel       "Known to Sun Ship employees as the "Swiss Chalais of Chester". Served your quarts of beer wrapped in newspaper!"

Thanks to
Thomas McKniff, Sr.

business_hotels_hope_anchor.jpg (26689 bytes)
Photo c. 1917 courtesy of Nancy Crossman, from a photo album belonging to Beatrice A. Thompson.

Swan Hotel SW corner 4th & Market St.     Formerly Hope's Anchor Tavern, erected 1736, removed 1921 for Swan Apartments.
  Union Hotel W. 3rd St.   ? - 1902 - ?  

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(Click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version)

Washington Hotel East side of Market Street, north of 4th   Demolished c. 1959

Photos taken immediately prior to or during demolition (including some architectural details) are available at Delaware County Historical Society research library.

So named after George Washington returned here following the Battle of Brandywine and wrote the only report of the battle from this hotel.

"The Washington House, opposite the City Hall, erected in 1747, is Chester's most historic public house, and was first known as the "Pennsylvania Arms," A brass tablet, placed on the building in 1902, is inscribed: "Delaware County Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, marks this house as the place where Washington wrote at midnight the only report of the Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777, Here Washington also received the congratulations of the people of Chester upon his election as the first President of the United States, April 20, 1789," It was the great man's custom, when passing through Chester, to put up at this house, and his arrival in the town was always an event of great interest to its inhabitants."

From "Chester, PA Ancient & Modern, published by Spencer Stationery Company 1904" - Courtesy of Lou Calvarese

"I was born in Chester in 1932 and lived there until I was about 38 years old.
When I was just a small kid, I remember, what I always thought of as a very fancy restaurant. As I recall it was called the "Washington House".
It was in downtown Chester, located on the north side of Market Street next door to the Washington movie house between 3rd and 4th streets.
At that time, during the Depression, my family could not afford to eat there. But we passed by the place many times. Looking in the large windows, I saw a beautiful, inviting room with many tables all covered with white table cloths, gleaming place settings with silver, glassware and intricately folded napkins.
By the time I grew up, in the late 40's, early 50's, the Washington House restaurant, as well as the Washington movie house, had gone out of business. So I never had a chance to sample their food and service.
I would like to hear from anyone who can give us any more information on this obviously fine old Chester restaurant."

Thanks to
Tony Reczek  

  Wilson Hotel 2nd & Wilson St. Norman Margolis ? - 1952 - ?  
Wright's Hotel Near 1707 W. 3rd St. Father of Judge Robert A. Wright Thanks to
Sam Lemon

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If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about any businesses in Chester, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

© 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 05/13/09

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