Broney’s Hotel has 124 years of history – Times News Online

Renovating a 124 year old hotel is a colossal undertaking. Financing aside, deciding on the details of a complete restoration is undoubtedly a time-consuming undertaking.

The same goes for Cindy Gasper and her brother, Dean Bartholomew, who want to see the former Broney’s Hotel in New Mahoning added to the National Register of Historic Places.

While the facility is being prepared for a multi-purpose restaurant/cafe/bakery, Gasper is busy these days researching the former hotel and the mounds of documents necessary for the building to be considered a site. history in Pennsylvania.

Historical records indicate that the 3-acre site at the intersection of Mahoning Drive East (Highway 209) and Mill Road in the Village of New Mahoning dates back to the early history of Mahoning Township. In fact, New Mahoning’s first hotel was the Jacob Fenstermacher Tavern, built in 1820. The property included a farm, distillery and butcher’s shop. He was famous for serving the Indians and defending himself from Indian attacks. Its location placed it at a desirable resting point between the Lehigh Valley and the Summit Hill Coal Mine. The property was later owned by Stephen Fenstermacher.

Records indicate that in the 1890s, Thomas Beltz purchased the Fenstermacher Farm and Tavern. In 1898 he built the Beltz Hotel, later to become Broney’s Hotel, across the street. The intersection became known as Broney’s Corner.

There are local rumors that the project was funded by Mary Packer, daughter of Lehigh Valley Railroad & Lehigh University founder Asa Packer of Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe). In an old photo, she is seen on the porch with her entourage, taking a photo with her coachman, Herman Schneider.

Local historian Jack Gunsser said, “On special occasions she was rumored to have left $100 bills under her plate, and at the time, that was a lot of money.”

In 1919, Beltz leased the hotel to Drs. RR Rupp and L. Brenckman to turn it into a hospital. After a few months, Dr. Rupp decided to leave for Boston to take an advanced course in surgery, and the hospital closed.

In 1927, a lawsuit between Thomas Beltz and Henry and Emeline Bednard forced the property to a sheriff’s sale. It was purchased by Bernard McDermott in 1931 and sold to Albert Kline in 1934, then resold to Helen (Sultonis) Broney the same year.

Helen Ann Broney owned the hotel until her death in 1939, when her brother-in-law, Charles Broney, executor of her estate, and his wife, Thelma, settled the estate among the four children of Helen, Helen Ann, Rose Broney Gombert, Gloria and Paul.

Helen Ann and Rose sold portions of the property to Rose and her husband, James Gombert, who used it as residential property in 1953, and in 1963 the building became the site of Gombert’s general store. The store was later moved to the building where the Mahoning Ambulance Company is now located.

Helen Ann operated the hotel and tavern until 1966. When she died in 1986, her property was bequeathed to her sister, Gloria Broney Dolinsky, her niece, Kay Zern, and her two nephews, Jim Gombert and Paul Dolinsky.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Christ Evangelical Free Church used the hotel for services before building its current church on Route 433. In the 1980s, part of the building was leased to the Country Gift Shop Traditions.

In 1986, Gloria Dolinsky, acting as executor, auctioned off the property, including all furnishings. Nick Petruce and his wife, Marika, of Philadelphia, planned to open the tavern/hotel as Nick’s Hotel de Ville, later planning to open it as the Sunflower Inn.

In 1990, before he could renovate the property, Nick died. Marika and her daughters lived in the house, where she ran a pierogi business.

She begins renovations but fails to obtain financing, decides to sell and in December 2007 after 1 year and a half on the market, put up for auction.

When the building was not sold, Gasper, Bartholomew and four other family members purchased it in 2008 for $200,000, with limited furnishings included in the sale.

A newspaper advertisement announcing the sale of the hotel in the Mauch Chunk Times-News in 1930.

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