|Description: We offer an albumen photograph of Murphy’s Hotel in Schoharie, New York. The print is 13” x 10” on its original mount, measuring 14”x 11”. Numerous hotel guests stand on the steps and second story porch of this Georgian vernacular structure that was destroyed in a fire in 1868. Additional details in the image include the basement level “Murphy’s Saloon”, a post in front of the building that reads “Schoharie Hotel” and a neatly in-painted chimney. Item #P00126.
The 1860’s and 70’s in Schoharie was a period of rapid development and, tragically, repeated destruction by two fires. As a result the location of Murphy’s Hotel is speculative using digitized maps and land records. It was on Main Street in the heart of town, but could have been on the east or west side. There is a 1946 typed note on verso written by David De Groff detailing the history of building and land ownership; it seems to contradict some modern accounts of the history of the town's business district.
Murphy’s Hotel is mentioned in the Schoharie Republican in 1863: “Messrs. N.P. Hinman and William B. Murphy have formed a co-partnership for the practice of law, and have opened their offices next door north of Murphy’s Hotel in the second story of the building formerly occupied as a law office by the late Jacob Houck.”
Condition: The corners of the mount are chipped, there are scattered surface abrasions and a few errant spots, still this early photograph is in good condition with decent contrast and resolution.