Hotel Lockwood Register Returns to Frankfort

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In December, the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center in Delphi, Indiana gave FCPL a register from Hotel Lockwood, which was located at 352 North Main Street in Frankfort and was the predecessor to today’s Main Street Hotel.  The earliest reference we found to Hotel Lockwood was in The Hotel World (27 Aug 1921, p. 16):  “The Hayes Hotel on North Main street, Frankfort, Ind., purchased two months ago by Nat W. Lockwood, will be known as the Hotel Lockwood after September 1.  New furnishings have been placed in nearly all of the rooms.” According to Frankfort in the Roarin’ Twenties by Floyd H. Keyes, the Coca Cola Bottling Plant was located next door at 350 North Main Street in the former Nathan Fletcher bottling plant (See Gem City Bottling Works blog post.) and the next building to the north was the New Café (p. 29).

Hotel Lockwood was first listed in a Frankfort city directory in 1922.  The 1927 listing was the first to name Nat W. Lockwood as proprietor.  From the U. S. Federal Census, we learned that Calvin T. Gable was the manager and his wife, Ada, was the assistant manager in 1930. In the 1935 city directory, Joe Robley was listed as the manager, and in 1946, Sam Nickerson was the manager.  

Among room tenants were employees of the Indiana Bell Telephone Company (1925) and Northern Indiana Power Company.  There were long-term as well as short term lodgers.  Some were commercial travelers such as Clovis Bennett of Charleston, Illinois.  Frequent tenants in 1932 were listed in the back of the ledger, including the local post of the American Legion, which rented rooms in May, September, and October 1932.  Also listed in the ledger were receipts and disbursements for items such  as laundry, water, ice, pop, newspapers, and candy.  Starting in 1932, sales of tobacco and candy were listed on a daily basis.

While the ledger does not span the entirety of Hotel Lockwood’s history, it does cover the majority (1925–1935) of the hotel’s existence.  We greatly are very grateful to Tom Castaldi of the archival committee at the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center for making sure that this piece of Frankfort’s history returned to Clinton County.

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