Fiske House

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Fiske House, 1904.

The Fiske House, also known as Hotel Fiske or The Fiske, was a hotel in Old Orchard.

Location

The hotel was situated on the seashore at the end of Flint Street.[1]

History

The original incarnation of the Fiske House was built in 1875.

It was destroyed by fire on 11/10/1881.

The hotel was rebuilt in 1882 on the same site and opened on July 1st of that year. It was enlarged to include space previous occupied by St. Cloud House and the Sans Souci.

It was again destroyed by fire on the night of 8/15/1907.[2][3]

Amenities

The hotel had accommodations for up to 300 guests in 130 rooms across six stories.[2]

The hotel contained on-site laundry, a billiard hall, a bowling alley, telephones and a telegraph office.[2]

It also had its own orchestra and baseball team. [2][3]

Each room was connected to the central office with a system of electric bells.[4]

The building was lit with gas lighting.[4]

A grand hop would be held at the hotel each Saturday night during the season.[4]

Staff

The following people have worked at the hotel.[5]

Name Role
Chas. F. Fiske Proprietor
Austin Fiske Manager
C. B. Flint Clerk
Frank Burnham Leader of Orchestra
Prof. George T. Wilson Master of Ceremonies
Orin Fitch Porter
Edward Kemp Chef
Ed. Schroth Baker

Rates

In 1884, rates ranged from $12 to $20 per week. The months of June and September were offered at half-price. [2]

Photos

Excerpt from Leading Business Men of Kennebunkport, Kennebunk and Old Orchard Beach, 1888

The following excerpt about Hotel Fiske appears in Leading Business Men of Kennebunkport, Kennebunk and Old Orchard Beach, published in 1888.[4]

Hotel Fiske. Old Orchard Beach, Maine. C. H. Fiske, Proprietor. Each year finds an increasing number of people visiting Old Orchard Beach, and the hotel accommodations of that famous resort, extensive as they are, are sometimes severely taxed in providing for all who apply. Located one hundred miles east of Boston and twelve miles west of Portland, the beach is conveniently situated as regards nearness to the business centers, and the frequent trains over the Boston & Maine R. R. make it one of the accessible resorts on the New England coast. A beach nine miles in length and six hundred feet in width cannot be matched in the world, and that is just what may be seen here, affording bathing facilities that are availed of by hundreds. A sea-shore resort where little or no surf bathing is done suffers greatly from a picturesque point of view when compared with one where this healthful exercise is widely indulged in, and Old Orchard leads the van in this respect among New England watering places. The adjacent scenery is beautiful and strikingly varied, for it combines marine and inland characteristics, and never wearies one as more monotonous scenes are apt to do. Back of the beach, miles of pine forests extend in every direction. Lovers of the country will find endless pleasure walking and driving about here, and numerous points of interest are within easy reach. Fern Park, the Cascade, the Camp Ground, etc, Saco and Biddeford are reached by a horse railway four miles in length. and half hourly trips are made. The Orchard Beach R. R. runs to Saco River, and connection is made at Camp Ellis with steamers for Biddeford Pool and with those making the trip "up the Saco." The drainage and the water supply of the Beach are all that could be wished, the water being taken from the well-known "Indian Spring" and is of the choicest quality. There are many hotels on the beach, but it is no discredit to any of them to say that the new and elegant Hotel Fiske is unquestionably the most prominent i n the entire region. This celebrated hostelry accommodates three hundred guests, being one of the largest on the coast. It is finely arranged and supplied with every convenience, each room being connected with the office by electric bells, and the building being illuminated by gas-light. The ballroom is without a rival in New England, and a first-class orchestra supplies music for the frequent hops and dinner concerts. Every Saturday night during the season is signalized by a grand hop.

References

  1. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Old Orchard, York County, Maine. Sanborn Map Company, Oct, 1889. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress on 6/21/2020. https://www.loc.gov/item/sanborn03521_001/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Domingue, Robert A. Greetings from Old Orchard ME.: A Picture Post Card History. The Hampshire Press, December 1981. ISBN 9780962072611.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hotel Fiske, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1900. Accessed 9/15/2019. https://www.mainememory.net/artifact/51258/
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Leading Business Men of Kennebunkport, Kennebunk and Old Orchard Beach, with an historical sketch of each place. William Hale Beckford. Mercantile publishing company, Boston. 1888. https://archive.org/details/leadingbusinessm01beck
  5. Old Orchard Mirror, "Old Orchard Mirror, July 4, 1900 - September 1, 1900" (1900). Pages 30-40. https://digitalmaine.com/old_orchard_mirror/2