Eagle Mountain House

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Discover Eagle Mountain House, which was transformed from farmland to become one of New Hampshire’s premier resorts and golf clubs.

Eagle Mountain House was constructed at a time when the United States was defined by great economic prosperity, industrial expansion, and significant social reform.

When it first opened in 1879, the original Eagle Mountain House & Golf Club offered 12 guestrooms, which were modest beginnings for what would be one of New Hampshire’s premier resorts. In 1915, the main historic inn was completely destroyed by fire; however, in less than a year, the Eagle Mountain House was rebuilt and re-opened. The new inn had expanded to two buildings, boasting a 280-foot veranda and 125 rooms with 100 full baths.

In 1931, Arthur Gale, son of the historic inn’s original builders, transformed the farmland and cow pasture in front of the inn into the nine-hole Eagle Mountain House Golf Links. In 1936, ski-meister Beno Rybizka ran the first organized skiing in Mount Washington Valley on the ninth hole of the course. In 1957, Mr. & Mrs. Orin Chadbourne took over the inn and installed the swimming pool two years later. They owned the inn until April 1973.

In 2012, George Heaton, from Heaton Companies, purchased the Eagle Mountain House from the condominium owners. Heaton's goal is to renovate the rooms and public spaces while maintaining the historic nature of the inn.

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    In 1931, Arthur Gale, son of the historic inn’s original builders, transformed the farmland and cow pasture in front of the inn into the nine-hole Eagle Mountain House Golf Links and, in 1936, ski master Beno Rybizka ran the first organized skiing in Mount Washington Valley on the ninth hole of the course.

Image of Historian Stanley Turkel, Historic Hotels of America Image of Stanley Turkel's Book Built To Last: 100 Year Old Hotels East of the Mississippi, Historic Hotels of America.

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Nobody Asked Me, But...
Hotel History: Eagle Mountain House (1879), Jackson, New Hampshire*

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

In 1879, the original Eagle Mountain House was created from a New England farm house which accommodated 12 guests. Cyrus and Marcia Gale operated the inn and a working farm which produced much of the food enjoyed by their guests. Late in the 1880s, the Gales built a few holes of golf which was the latest fad from Scotland. In 1915, the inn was consumed by fire but was rebuilt by Arthur P. Gale, son of Cyrus and Marcia Gale in 1916 with 75 guestrooms. World-famous photographer Clifton Church photographed many scenes around the inn in a darkroom created for him on the premises. In 1928-29, Gale doubled the size of the Eagle House and added sixty new guestrooms, a new private dining room, and an extended veranda on two levels.

In 1931, Arthur Gale expanded the golf course to nine holes and in 1937 hired world-famous Beno Rybizka to run the first organized skiing in the Mount Washington Valley. For more than ninety years, the Gales presided over the two Eagle Mountain Houses. Then in 1973, Arthur Gale's sister Marcia and her husband Orin N. Chadbourne, who had owned and managed it since Arthur's death in 1957, sold the property. The hotel struggled under a series of owners until 1985 when Portland developers Barton A. Forbes and Michael Marino purchased it. Under their thoughtful and knowledgeable direction, the century-old hotel has undergone a multi-million dollar restoration which has returned it to the appearance and operation at the height of its popularity. The Carriage House Ballroom is located in the Victorian-era barn which originally housed horses and carriages before being adapted later for use as a garage. Partially self-sustaining, it still has its own bakery, water supply, and steam plant.

Jackson is one of the region's most picturesque villages, famous for Jackson Falls and Jackson X C, a 150+ kilometer cross-country skiing trail system, rated as one of the best in the world. Jackson is perhaps best known for its red covered bridge, built in 1876, one of the most photographed in the state.

In 1991, the Eagle Mountain House was approved by inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1995, it was listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Frommer's Review in the New York Times reported:

  • “The white wooden Eagle Mountain House is a handsome relic that has happily survived the ravages of time, fire, and the fickle tastes of tourists. Built in 1916, the gleaming, classic five-story hotel is set in an idyllic valley above Jackson. Guestrooms are furnished in a country-pine look with stenciled blanket chests, armoires, and feather comforters.”

*excerpted from his book Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi


About Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Stanley Turkel is a recognized consultant in the hotel industry. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases and providing asset management an and hotel franchising consultation. Prior to forming his hotel consulting firm, Turkel was the Product Line Manager for worldwide Hotel/Motel Operations at the International Telephone & Telegraph Co. overseeing the Sheraton Corporation of America. Before joining IT&T, he was the Resident Manager of the Americana Hotel (1842 Rooms), General Manager of the Drake Hotel (680 Rooms) and General Manager of the Summit Hotel (762 Rooms), all in New York City. He serves as a Friend of the Tisch Center and lectures at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He served for eleven years as Chairman of the Board of the Trustees of the City Club of New York and is now the Honorary Chairman.

Stanley Turkel is one of the most widely-published authors in the hospitality field. More than 275 articles on various hotel subjects have been posted in hotel magazines and on the Hotel-Online, Blue MauMau, Hotel News Resource and eTurboNews websites. Two of his hotel books have been promoted, distributed and sold by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry and Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi). A third hotel book (Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York) was called "passionate and informative" by the New York Times. Executive Vice President of Historic Hotels of America, Lawrence Horwitz, has even praised one book, Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry:

  • “If you have ever been in a hotel, as a guest, attended a conference, enjoyed a romantic dinner, celebrated a special occasion, or worked as a hotelier in the front or back of the house, Great American Hoteliers, Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry is a must read book. This book is recommended for any business person, entrepreneur, student, or aspiring hotelier. This book is an excellent history book with insights into seventeen of the great innovators and visionaries of the hotel industry and their inspirational stories.”

Turkel was designated as the “2014 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America,” the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion, greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Works published by Stanley Turkel include:

Most of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse—(except Heroes of the American Reconstruction, which can be ordered from McFarland)—by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com, or by clicking on the book’s title.

Contact: Stanley Turkel


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