Solomon Jones, whose name and life were deeply connected with the heritage of Lake Ariel, operated the Traveller's Home in downtown Hawley, Pa., around the time of the Nation's Centennial in 1876.
HAWLEY - Solomon Jones, whose name and life were deeply connected with the heritage of Lake Ariel, operated the Traveller’s Home in downtown Hawley, Pa., around the time of the Nation’s Centennial in 1876.
This hotel, saloon and restaurant was fondly remembered by a local Hawley columnist almost 40 years later. Thanks to his reminisces in the Down Hawley Way column in the Honesdale Citizen, we can tell something about this almost forgotten establishment. We have a strong clue as to where it was located, and by chance a photograph has been found showing the place in a later decade.
Today, AM Skier Insurance owns the property at the corner of Main Avenue and River Street, where they maintain a garden with a gazebo and picket fence. (The house was removed in about 1967.)
He kept the hotel in what became the residence of William Schardt, whose life was previously featured in this series.
William and his brother Charles had a variety of businesses in town, from oysters and ice cream to haircuts. William died in 1916 at the age of 70.
‘The Traveller’s Home.’
The unnamed columnist penned his nostalgic comments following the recent death of Solomon Jones. The article in the April 18, 1913 edition reported,
“Few people will recall the fact that the late Solomon Jones, who died at Ariel the early part of this week, was at one time a resident of this town. That was away back in 1875 and ’76.
“Mr. Jones lived in a little cottage on the ‘level’ between Nos. 18 and 19, and becoming tired of the monotony of country life, he bought out John Chamberlain, a tavern keeper of those days who was famous for the good things to eat he set before his guests, and whose hostelry was in a building now occupied as a residence by William Schardt.
“Mr. Jones called his public house ‘The Traveller’s Home.’ That was in the ‘good old days’ when there were real taverns in the land. In these days instead of calling his public house ‘The Traveller’s Home’ it would have been called ‘Hotel Jones.’
“Mr. Jones was a worthy successor to Mr. Chamberlain and we never heard that the fame of the dinners of ‘The Traveller’s Home’ were any less than those served by mine host Chamberlain; but after a year or two of life in Hawley, he returned to Ariel where he remained almost uninterruptedly, we believe, up to the time of his death.”
Very little has been found relating to this establishment.
The statement that the business was in the home occupied in 1913 by William Schardt, however raises some questions for the writer. Research about the Schardt family showed evidence that in 1870, William Schardt and his wife Jeanette lived there with his father in law, Charles Daniels; the 1872 Hawley map shows it was owned by C. Daniels. The Schardts were known to have lived there in later years as well.
There is always the possibility that Chamberlain, and then Jones, rented a portion of the large house for their business. We also note that William Schardt was living when the article came out.
The Wayne County Herald, a Honesdale newspaper, listed a legal notice dated January 18, 1876 stating that “Salmon Jones” had applied for a hotel license in Wayne County Court. The location for the business was given as Palmyra Township.
The 1875-1876 Hawley directory lists Salmon Jones as running a hotel on 18th Street (Main Avenue).
The Traveller’s Home, however was short lived.
Legal ads appeared in The Herald in October 1876, stating that George F. Bentley, Auditor, had been appointed to distribute moneys from the Sheriff’s sale of the personal property of Salmon Jones. Concerned parties were invited to present their claims at the office of Waller & Bentley in Honesdale on November 24th. The legal ad does not name The Traveller’s Home.
Solomon (sometimes written as Salmon) Jones was born about 1836, to Albert and Elizabeth Jones.
Although Solomon appears to have lived most of his life in Lake Ariel, the 1850 census appears to locate him in Palmyra Township, Wayne County, which at that time included Hawley. The village was undergoing tremendous growth at that period, with the arrival of the Pennsylvania Coal Company (PCC) gravity railroad, linking with the D&H Canal at Hawley.
“Salmon” was 11. His father Albert (written as Aberham by the census taker), was a sawyer. He was 47; Salmon’s mother Elizabeth, was 49. He had a brother John, age 17. It has not been verified, however, that this is the same Jones family. Discrepancies in ages and name spellings in census records were very common.
By 1860, the family was located in Lake Ariel (more on this later). Albert was listed as 58, Elizabeth as 57, and Salmon as 24. Solomon Jones was registered for the draft during the Civil War in August 1863, although whether he served is not known.
In 1870, Solomon was listed in Salem Township (which included Lake Ariel at that time), and working as a car runner of the PCC’s gravity railroad. The railroad connected the coal mines in the Wyoming Valley with Hawley, passing through Lake Ariel.
He was 34, and married to Rosella, same age. They had a one-year old son, Salmon. Solomon’s father Albert, 67, was a lumberman, and lived with them.
The reference no the “level area between Nos. 18 and 19” refers to the gravity railroad. There were two tracks, roughly parallel, the “light” track which carried the empty coal cars west to the mines, and the “heavy” track which took the filled cars east to Hawley.
The cars were pulled back up the inclines to the mines by stationary steam engines, each one numbered. The light track passed right through the village of Ariel, and was Number 19; 18 was further east.
Solomon Jones was part of a large family that was largely responsible for settling Lake Ariel. The community was long known as Jonestown and the lake was Jones Pond. The 1872 map, however, lists their post office as “Ariel” and labeled the point on the gravity as “No. 19” as well. Their home was near the light track of the gravity railroad, just east of downtown.
After operating The Traveller’s Home in Hawley, Solomon Jones and his family returned to Ariel.
Newspaper items tell only a little more. Jones was active in Democratic politics. In September 1902 he was named a delegate for the county, and nominated George H. Seaman for commissioner.
A pleasant day was recounted on in The Herald newspaper in April 1902-05 (the year wasn’t clear). The columnist for Ariel news told of Easter arriving in the community. It states, “Mr. and Mrs. Salmon Jones took in the Erie’s Easter (train) excursion.”
Starting in 1885, the Erie & Wyoming Valley Railroad replaced the gravity railroad, and stopped in Ariel. The village was a popular spot because of the Lake Ariel Amusement Park.
A reunion of the Jones family was held at the Jones Lake Baptist Church in Ariel, September 9, 1903. The Herald reported the occasion marked the 100th anniversary of the Jones’ settlement on Wayne County. A picnic was held under an ancient chestnut tree on one of side of an orchard that was planted by Asa Jones in September 1813.
Asa, Bethuel and Salmon Jones (all brothers) were the first settlers and patriarchs of Jonestown, having arrived in the early 1800’s from Connecticut. This was almost 30 years before Solomon Jones was born, around 1836.
A decision was made to host the reunion annually.
Solomon’s wife Rosella died at Ariel on October 12, 1909, at the age of 71.
As of the 1910 census, Solomon was 73 and living at Ariel. He lived with his son George and daughter-in-law Lily, and their four children. George was listed as working at odd jobs.
Solomon Jones died suddenly at the home of his A.L. Jones, in Ariel, April 13, 1913. He was 76.
George T. Jones was living in Lake Ariel in 1941, when he died as a result of being hit by an automobile as he walked to work, June 4th. He was 64.
Albert was living in Matamoras for a time and was an engineer. He wife’s name was Myrtle; they were living in Cortez, west of Lake Ariel, in 1947. Albert died January 4 of that year, at the age of 79.
There were also two or three daughters of Solomon and Rosella Jones, whose names have not been located.