By VICKIE MENGES
When dirt roads and streets were the only kind known and it took travelers a longer time to travel, hotels with stables to accommodate horses were of great importance.
Dalton has had its share of this type of property over the years. To name a few: The Cozy Inn, The Woodland Inn, the Parkette Motel, Mason Tourist Cabins, Jones Motel, the Central Hotel and the Freeman Tavern/Wertz Hotel. For those who didn’t know, Cozy Inn and Jones Motel were on the east end of town, Woodland Inn and Parkette Motel were on the west end of town, Mason’s Tourist Cabins were on W. Main Street, Central Hotel was on Main Street in the middle of town and Freeman Tavern/Wertz Hotel was located just east of Thacker funeral home.
The Freeman Tavern was bought by John Wertz in 1828. He built an additional wing on it and renamed it the Wertz Hotel. This was very prominent during the period where the railroad ran through Dalton and passengers needed a place to stay. It was in business as a hotel 1828 – approximately 1890s when the railroad passengers quit coming to town. The railroad traffic (or lack of it) caused the hotel to close and become a private residence.
Then there was another long standing hotel, the Central Hotel. It was on the site of today’s post office. This hotel opened in April 1879.
In March 1889, the Gardner family bought it. It was destroyed in the fire of 1894 but was replaced in 1895 with a larger brick building and it had 25 rooms.
The big hotel business declined with the coming of the automobiles. Tourists appeared to enjoy the complete and luxurious service provided by big town hotels and some local people began to advertise “Rooms for Tourists” and tourist cabins began to spring up.
The Central Hotel, after its hotel days were gone, still housed some businesses on the ground floor and a few residents on the second floor. The building was demolished in 1968.
Vickie Menges, president of the Dalton Community Historical Society, provides a regular column for The DGKN.