Friday, October 1, 2010

The White Swan Hotel

The corner of Main Street and Washington Square/ Salem Street has always been the heart of the village of Greenwich. In 1810, when Greenwich was Union Village, David Whipple built a tavern on the northwest corner. In 1851, the wood frame building was replaced by a modern brick structure. It no longer catered to the "demon rum" as the Temperance Movement was sweeping through the area. Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, visited the temperance house on July 4, 1852.

Shortly thereafter, however, the building came under new management. The new Union House was up and running and alcohol was back on the menu. Over the next 70 plus years the business would continue to operate under various owners and names- the Blakeley House, the Hamilton House... Until June 30, 1926 when it re-opened as the White Swan Hotel with updated hot & cold plumbing and new floors. The new name came from the White Swan bottled water company of Fort Edward, NY.

The White Swan was a major business in the village until February 13, 1971 when fire destroyed the three story edifice. The restaurant, bar and movie theater that were such an integral part of life in this small community were gone. Also lost were three men, Gail Gilchrist, Edward A. Tefft, Sr. and Raymond W. Worden who died of smoke inhalation on the second floor. A month later, the site was cleared and replaced by a small brick bank. The unimposing structure still houses a bank today, Trustco.

I recently received a package in the mail from DP Edeline of San Pedro, CA. In it were some photographs and documents related to the Fuller/Parkerson families. One of the photographs is shown here... The White Swan Hotel in 1961.


  1. 05/01/2011- Alice Foss Quigley wrote on Facebook...
    "I love your blog, Tisha. I grew up in Easton and went to school in Greenwich. Spent many happy Sat afternoons in the White Swan movie theater... $0.12 admission for a cartoon, a serial episode, and two movies... at least one a cowboy feature like Roy Rogers or Gene [Autrey] or such. For 25 cents, I got the movie ticket, 8 cents of penny candy (BIG bag full), and 5 cents left to get a fudgecycle on the way home to my Grandparents house in Schadam (edge of Greenwich in town of Easton).. It's like taking a trip down memory lane."

    1. Hi, I'm trying to find an old US Army buddy from 1969. I went to his Wedding that year, north of Albany. His name was Greg Moffitt, and I believe he was from Salem, NY, and he married a girl named Beverly, the Fall or early Winter of 1969-1970. I'd like to reconnect, if possible, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any help you can provide. My Email is

  2. My Grandfather , Leonard P. O'Hanlon owned the White Swan Hotel at the time it burnt down on February 13 1971...Ironically the date of my son Stephen's birth in 1989...I am Stephen C. Stewart from Clifton Park...

  3. This was an especially good post! Thanks for sharing it again!