I reached Duncannon, PA around 2pm, after 10 miles of rocky trail and a 1000′ descent. Another hiker friendly town, the AT heads down Main Street and then First.
Prominent on Main Street is the Doyle Hotel.
Unfortunately, the hotel and Duncannon reflect much of small town America; little industry and half of the buildings shuttered. The Doyle is tired, and in need of a major refurbishment. Yet it’s beautiful in its own way, sleepy, nestled between 2 hills, one of which I have to climb tomorrow!
Here’s a brief history:
Originally a three-story, wooden hotel built in the 1770s, it was a stopping point along the main route going north along the Susquehanna River and has a rich and storied history. It caught fire and burned to the ground in 1803, replaced by the current brick building. In 1880, it was purchased by Adolphus Busch of Anheuser-Busch fame, and it opened again as the Johnson Hotel in 1905. Busch died in 1913, and the building reverted to the Budweiser Company, but was quickly sold off, with many other places, when Prohibition hit in 1920.
The hotel then went through several private owners, finally becoming The Doyle in 1944 after Jim “Doc” Doyle won $444,444.44 in the Irish lottery. Doyle owned and operated the hotel into the 1990s. It again passed through two different owners until 2001, when current owners Pat and Vickey Kelly bought it.
I wish them well!