In Sept 1976 Mr. Ted Boston shared some of his memories about the old Hotel.
At that time, the
Crittenden Hotel was the place to stay in Marion.
In those days, there were six passenger trains a day through Marion, three north bound and three southbound.
The hotel kept a horse drawn bush to meet the trains and carry visitors to the hotel.
Boston remembers that in 1912, the horse was replaced with an International auto-buggy, with solid rubber tires about three feet high.
The trains and the traveling salesmen they carried were the keys to hotel business. Then salesman had to stay overnight in those years before cars and passable roads. Lodging was $1.50 a night. Meals were .75 cents.
Mrs. Daniel Webb of Evansville, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hammack operated the hotel from about 1920-1922, recalled one such traveler who complained to her mother that he couldn't eat .75 cents worth of food. You're not suppose to eat .75 cents worth, Mrs. Hammack promptly replied and went on to explain there was suppose to be little profit made on the meal.
She remembered, too, that at that time all the rooms were heated with the fireplaces, which were still in the rooms. Nor was there any plumbing, all the rooms were equipped with a washstand and a bowl and pitcher.
For the convenience of the salesmen at the rear of the hotel, was a small display building for their wares. Salesmen would open their trunks here, and the town's merchants would come to buy what they wanted. Then, as it was in later year, part of the lower floor was devoted to shops.
J. C. Bourland had a job printing shop and sold office supplies, Judge Moore's law office was there, as were the Moore and Pickens Dress Shop, an insurance office and a barber shop.
But all that's gone now, gone like the long tables with white tablecloths, the good food and the crowd and the trains.
In December 1991 the roof was blown off by a winter storm, and in March 1992 the back wall on one end collapsed from the weight of snow an drain. This was the final end of the Crittenden Hotel. The end result was the old building had to be completely torn down. The place where the Hotel once stood is a parking lot, located on East Carlisle Street, next to the Woman's Club building.