Then and Now
Grove Hotel

 
West Point Grove Hotel in 1918.
 
 The Grove Hotel was built in the Fall of 1874 by Samuel Kriebel on seven acres of land purchased from Algernon Jenkins, executor for Amos Jones of the Jones Farm. It partially burned down in February of 1877 and was rebuilt to the design in the above photo.
 
Located on the corner of Garfield and Main Street (later named West Point Pike), the property fronted Main Street
and originally extended from Garfield Avenue to Park Road and from Main Street to Second Street.
 
 The hotel had 22 rooms and a bar. Two wells supplied water. Behind the hotel were two stables, a wagon house, chicken coop, pig pen, corn crib and fruit trees. There were three acres of woods between the hotel and Park Road, and Kreibel named the hotel for the grove of trees. Picnic tables were set up in the grove as a shady rest spot.
 
The Pizza Time Saloon. 2006
 
Post card dated July 26, 1907. At this time it was known as Hallmeyer's Hotel.

Sam Kriebel sold the hotel in 1892 to Robert C. Lownes for $8000. In 1892 Lownes sold it to Joseph K. Crouthamel for $10,000. In 1894 Crouthamel sold it to Samuel Delp. After the death of Sam Delp it became the property of Adam Baum & Son. (The mortgage holder?) It was sold at Sherriff's sale to Ellen S. Delp, the widow of Samuel. It was then purchased by Henry Hallmeyer from Mrs. Delp on December 31, 1900 for $4800.

 
From the Ambler Gazette, October 11, 1900. Much information about the hotel can be gleaned here. Item No. 2 was just up the street on Garfield Avenue. D.S. Zern & Sons regularly held a public sale of cows at the site. The hall changed names with the ownership of the hotel; Hallmeyer's Hall, Roehner's Hall, etc. It became the West Point Hosiery mill and is now home to Allied Control. Item No.3 is lot No. 184 on Jones Avenue. It is three blocks away from the hotel.

 
Hallmeyer's Hotel. Undated photo.
 
Postcard dated September 15, 1911
 
1913

  In November of 1913 the license was transferred from Henry H. Hallmeyer to Margaret L. Hallmeyer. In 1915 Mrs. Hallmeyer sold the hotel to Julius H. Roehner, who renamed it, "Drovers' Hotel"

     Julius Roehner made many improvements to the hotel. The first thing he did was to clean out the dead leaves and brush from the grove. He renovated the bathrooms and installed electric lighting in each room. He added a piano to the bar, and had it re-wallpapered. In 1918 a pipeless heating system was installed by John F. Fenstermacher (the local tinsmith, who also installed most of the metal roofs in the area.)

In 1922 there was a remonstrance (grievance) against the renewal of Roehner's hotel license. In April of 1923 the hotel was  purchased by Joseph Lucas. By this time part of the property had been sold, reducing the size to four acres. In august Lucas began renovating the hotel. In 1928 Roehner was sentenced to 9 months in prison and a fine of $1000 plus court costs for violating prohibition law.

     The hotel was a gathering point for the village. The Upper Gwynedd School Board held their meetings there, there were banquets for various causes and turkey shoots at Thanksgiving. The West Point Fire Company held an annual carnival on the grounds, and there were fireworks on the 4th of July. Relatives of people in West Point stayed at the hotel while visiting, and we might guess that patrons of Zieber's Park who arrived by train kept the rooms full.

 


 

Thanks to Ann Kulp for photo.


 
 

What happened to the grove of trees
the Grove Hotel was named after?

 

In 1926 some of the trees were chopped down for firewood by Joseph Lucas, owner of the hotel.

On October 15, 1954 Hurricane Hazel struck the East Coast. By 4:30 PM it was centered over Pennsylvania. Many of the trees were knocked down, decimating the grove. The hurricane was so destructive the name "Hazel" has been retired.

Originally 7 acres, the property has been subdivided so that ownership of the grove is no longer part of the hotel, except for the area that is now a parking lot.

The grove area along West Point Pike is today owned by Grace Church. It was purchased by the congregation from Mrs. Ruby Heebner in 1955. The church was built in 1957.

There are several trees on the church  property. Three of them, including this one behind the church, appear old enough to have been part of the original grove.
 

 
 
Looking toward the hotel from Park Road and West Point Pike.
The tree on the right is old enough to have been part of the grove.