Thursday, January 8, 2015

Vanished New Bern, No. 13

a series of views of lost area buildings

By John B. Green III

The Washington Hotel

Trade card c. 1858, Washington Hotel, 400 block Broad Street, north side.
The engraved trade card seen above is the only known image of the sprawling Washington Hotel which was once located on the northeast corner of Broad and Hancock streets.  It bears an ink inscription which reads "Just as it look[ed] before Newbern was Capt[ured] 1860."  Established by Joseph Bell before 1818, it served as hotel, stage office and stop, and venue for countless social and political events.  Bell sold the complex to Henry G. Cutler in 1834 who operated the hotel for three years before selling it to William R. Street in 1838.  Street sold the hotel back to Cutler in 1852.  Cutler again sold the property in 1856 and it passed through a number of owners including W.J. Smith who briefly owned the hotel in 1858 (and had the trade card printed.)  It was owned and operated at the time of the Civil War by William P. Moore.  The Washington Hotel met its end during the Union Army assault on New Bern, March 14, 1862, when it was set ablaze by retreating Confederates.