Part 2 of 2 parts
By Peter Becker
HAWLEY- Part 1 of this story told of the heyday of the Park View Hotel, a grand, three-story lodging place built in 1902 or 1903 near the bank of the Lackawaxen River, just off Church Street in the Eddy section of Hawley, Pennsylvania.
Today, the flood dike and Riverside Park cuts through the site.
The Park View Hotel was built and operated by German immigrants, Christian A. Lehmann (also spelled Lehman) and his wife Caroline. The hotel fronted a spacious park. It could accommodate 20 people, and was in easy access to the Erie Railroad Depot. There were numerous hotels in this period, many which became the home of boarders who found a nice place to sleep, company and a decent meal.
The Eddy Hotel was diagonally across the street- today known as Cora's 1850 Bistro restaurant - which survived where numerous other landmarks, including the Park View, did not.
Part 2 discusses what became of the hotel and the family.
Christian Lehmann died somewhere between 1910 and 1912. Mrs. Lehmann continued the business, with the help of her daughter Helen.
Among their boarders in 1920 was Albert H. Lauderburn, who was single, and age 34- the same as Helen. A courtship blossomed. Albert was prominent in the silk mill industry. He managed the Hawley Baseball Club.
A news item from August 1920 records a pleasant outing for Albert and Helen, who rode with friends- Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Crockenburg- to Middletown, NY to see an automobile race. Their car was a Stearns-Knight, reported correspondent A. M. Skier in the Wayne County Citizen.
On November 29, 1921, Albert and Helen were married. Their wedding was at the Little Church Around the Corner, an Episcopal church in New York City. The Lehmanns had relatives in the City.
A story in the Wayne County Citizen in April 1920 states that Mrs. Lehmann was wanting to retire from the daily toil of running a hotel. She story reports that she had leased it for five years to an experienced hosteler from Binghamton, NY, W.E. Boughton. He was expected to assume his duties on May 1, 1920.
The Park View Hotel, however, was wrecked in a fire in 1920, and was never rebuilt.
A search of newspapers found no account of the fire. Based on a reference made to it in November 1921, the blaze must have occurred the year prior.
The once grand hotel was only 17 or 18 years old.
A . M. Skier, who wrote a regular column on Hawley news, commented in his story about the lease that the Park View had built a solid reputation in the region. He wrote that the hotel was considered one of the finest in northeastern Pennsylvania to get a good meal.
A new chapter, however, was opening for the family.
They were intending to get out of the hotel business, but the financial loss must have been keen. Mrs. Lehmann's prospective son-in-law was planning a new venture.
By the time of the wedding, they had already built their new house on the site of the hotel, where Mrs. Lehmann would live with her daughter Helen and new son-in-law.
Nancy Gumble, who was born in 1925 and lived on Paupack Street- a short distance from the hotel site, said her parents were friends with the Lauderburns and she remembered them and Mrs. Lehmann well. She said they lived in a white stucco, two-story house.
The June 1926 Sanborn Fire Insurance map clearly shows a dwelling where the hotel had stood, a bit smaller. It is marked as a tile, 2-story home with two porches. A 1942 article referred to the Lauderburn home as a "stone mansion." The address was 845 Church Street.
Started a silk mill
Albert H. Lauderburn Jr. (the Census records listed his name as "August") was a respected silk mill manager, and started a new business for the town. He started the Paupac Silk Mill, located at 163 Crystal Street, converting the barn of the former hotel into a factory. He leased the barn in the summer of 1921 and had plans to put on a second story. It had approximately 30 looms and was situated almost directly behind the house, on the river bank.
The A.H. Lauderburn Silk Company was organized in 1922. Albert, a native of Hazleton, Pa., had come to Hawley in 1918 from Weatherly, Pa., to work for Welwood Silk Company (occupied today by the Hawley Sill Mill).
The 1931 directory lists Ewald Lehmann, a laborer, whose wife was Gertrude, living at 832 Church Street. What their relationship was to Christian Lehmann, if any, has not been found.
The Hawley Times records that in December 1931 the Lauderburns won first place in the holiday decorating contest ran by the Hawley Chamber of Commerce. The fire department had area children meet Santa in front of their house.
Flood of '42
Caroline Lehmann, Helen and Albert still lived at 845 Church Street when disaster struck Hawley on May 23, 1942.
The worst flood the Lackawaxen River valley has seen in recorded history destroyed all of the houses on Crystal Street except two, and a few others in Hawley’s Eddy section. Houses were swept downstream in the middle of the night. LeRoy Sands’ greenhouse and poultry farm were demolished, as was the Paupac Silk Mill and the A&P Store by the bridge. The iron bridge was swept away as well. Remarkably, the Eddy Hotel survived.
Considerable damage had occurred here in the March 1936 flood but buildings stayed put and no lives were lost. Albert Lauderburn was hoping that their substantial home would withstand this flood although aware the silk mill had washed away, earlier that night.
He told his story to the Hawley Times afterwards. At about 3:30 a.m.
His mother-in-law, Mrs. Lehmann, opened the kitchen door to see what was happening. Unaware that the porch had already been torn off, she stepped out in the dark, and was swept away to her death by the unforgiving waters.
Shortly after, Albert and Helen were looking out an upstairs window, and witnessed neighbors’ homes being carried away. Buildings and debris began to smash against their home and tore off the back end.
Albert threw a mattress onto some lumber that had caught in some maple trees out front, and told his wife he would jump first and then she should follow, and he would catch her. As the house started to crack up, Albert hollered, "JUMP" and he leaped onto the lumber. His wife landed on the mattress and nearly slipped off but Albert grabbed her hand as she went into the water. He led her over the lumber and waited in the tree. They were there two hours, when they were rescued by Fred "Pep" Singer and Dr. Sylvan Tether, who came by in a boat.
Their house, and the A&P market next door, were gone by 6 a.m.
It was a harrowing end. Mrs. Lehmann, who was 77, was one of nine people in Hawley to perish in the flood, one of 24 in Wayne County. Her body and that of the others from Hawley were later recovered.
Mrs. Gumble remembers it well. She says she recalls witnessing two homes by the Eddy Bridge wash away.
Her own home was damaged but she and her parents survived and rebuilt.
Information is lacking on what became of the Laudrburns but it appears they left Hawley. A record was found of Albert and Helen Lauderburn living in Lehigh, PA, where Albert died in 1968 and Helen in 1973. More information on the life of Helen's sister Lena hasn't been located.
In June of 1963, the Borough of Hawley purchased 13.46 acres where the flood plain and dike were set up.
The area along the river remains a place of beauty that attracted the Lehmanns to establish a once fine hotel, but now reserved for those who come to walk the dike or throw a fishing line.
*The Hawley Flood May 22-23, 1942 by Audrey Graybill and Nancy Killam Gumble, Wallenpaupack Historical Society
*US Census records