Hotel Ambler

It was Ambler's first hotel.


It was since the North Pennsylvania Railroad was built and operated in the Ambler borough in 1856 and it began to rise in population and businesses.


The land that's next to the railroad during the 1860s was owned by Jonathan Lukens who was creating a real estate boom in the borough. He purchased a coal yard near his property, and sold the remainder to Jacob Lugar, who bought the stones from an old mill at Main Street and Tennis Avenue for the construction and foundation of a small public house on Butler Pike.


Fun Fact #1: The name was called "The Ambler Park Hotel" from 1870-1880.


Unfortunately, Jacob was sold out by the sheriff, and the property was bought by James Wampole of North Wales. Like Lugar, Wampole was also sold out by the sheriff in 1875. The hotel was purchased by Jacob Hoover for his friend William Acuff.


When William died in 1879, the property was transferred to his son Alfred S. Acuff (1837-1891). In 1883, Samuel T. Godfrey (1844-1931) bought the property for $13,500. During his ownership, he expanded the hotel and rebuilt the stables of stone as it existed for many years after it was burned in 1890.


As the valuation increased, Samuel ended up selling the property to John D. Cooper for $27,500. John made a large profit in its sale that he sold the property to William C. Blackburn (-1900). Between the 1890s and the early 20th century, the hotel was known as "Hotel Ambler."


When William died in a horrific train wreck in Hatfield, his son Irvin H. Blackburn (1863-1942) took over the hotel business.


Fun Fact #2: William and his son Irvin operated the Centre Square Hotel (Waggon Inn) prior to operating Hotel Ambler.


Prior to World War I, Joseph H. Fretz purchased the hotel, and sold the corner where the horse sales took place to the Ambler Trust Company.


With the rise in small businesses and stores in the borough, and the popularity of the automobile, the demand for hotels was no longer needed, causing Hotel Ambler to fade in its existence. The hotel burned down in 1944.

Montgomery County 1877, Gwynedd, North Wales, Ambler, Royer's Ford, Limerick Station; J. D. Scott, Publisher
North Pennsylvania Railroad 1886 Philadelphia - Bucks - Montgomery Counties, Ambler; J. D. Scott, Publisher
Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., 1916, Plate 26; A. H. Mueller, Publisher
Montgomery County 1927 Reading Main Line Vol 1, Plate 031 - Ambler Borough 1, Upper Dublin Township 1; Frank H. M. Klinge, Publisher
Montgomery County 1949 Vol D, Plate 015 - Ambler Borough; Franklin Survey Company, Publisher
Ambler Postcard of Hotel Ambler, 1908
Present Day Photo
The Ghost of Hotel Ambler

Bibliography


Franklin Survey Co. Atlas: Montgomery County 1949 Vol D, Plate 15, 1949.


Herman, Andrew Mark. Eastern Montgomery County. (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 1999): 72.


Hough, Mary P. H. "Ambler Yesterday: History and Fact Behind Ambler of Today: Hotel Ambler Has Fascinating Background." Ambler Gazette. October 26, 1939. Page 12. http://digitalcollections.powerlibrary.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/wivp-gazett/id/21663/rec/1.


Hough, Mary P. H. "Early history of Ambler 1682-1888.” A Celebration of Women Writers. Accessed April 29, 2021. https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/hough/ambler/ambler.html.


Klinge, Frank H. M. Montgomery County 1927 Reading Main Line Vol 1, Plate 31, 1927.


Mueller, A. H. Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., Plate 26, 1916.


Roberts, Ellwood. Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Containing Genealogical Records of Representative Families, Including Many of the Early Settlers and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens, Volume 2. (New York, Chicago: T.S. Benham & Co. and The Lewis Publishing Co., 1904): 258-260.


Scott, J. D. Montgomery County 1877, Gwynedd, North Wales, Ambler, Royer's Ford, Limerick Station, 1877.


Scott, J.D. North Pennsylvania Railroad 1886 Philadelphia - Bucks - Montgomery Counties, Ambler, 1886.


"Whittock's Whitpain." Wissahickon Valley Historical Society. Accessed February 2, 2021. https://www.wvalleyhs.org/whittocks-whitpain/.


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