Spring House, George Layman, Proprietor, Barryville
1886: 5 minutes’ walk from Shohola. Accommodate 35; 18 rooms; adults, $7 to $8; children under 12, half price; servants, $5; transient, $1.50 per day. Discount for season. Raises vegetables. Plenty fresh milk, eggs and poultry.—Erie Railroad Brochure.
1889: 10 double, 15 single rooms; adults $8 to $10; no children or servants taken; transient, $2/day; discount for season. Good fishing and gunning.
—Erie Railroad Brochure.
George Layman had first opened Shohola House (now Rohmans) in Shohola, Pennsylvania. In 1877, Shohola House was advertised in Charles Hallock’s, The Sportsman’s Gazetteer and General Guide:
Shohola, 108 miles from New York, is beautifully located among the mountains, overlooking the Delaware. It is in the heart of the famous hunting and fishing regions of Pike and Sullivan counties.
There is but one hotel, the Shohola House, kept by George Layman. It is a new and commodious hotel, near the depot. Detailed information as to the locality, and terms, may be obtained by addressing the proprietor. Take the Erie Railroad.
By 1886, Mr. Layman seems to have sold Shohola House to Mr. Kilgour, the “bluestone king,” and was the proprietor of the Spring House, across the Delaware from Shohola, in Barryville, New York.
The Spring House was originally built around 1850 and was first a farmhouse. The location was ideal—very close to the bridge (5 minutes walk) on
the New York side.
Gardner Forgerson had sold the property to Hiram Quick via Joseph Y. Crane in July of 1845. Hiram Quick built a home, barn and well on the land and added 4 more lots for a total of about 3 acres.
The premises was beautifully located, the land smooth and well shaped; but Hiram possessed neither the requisite taste nor money for its improvement. He became involved, conveyed the property to N.B. Johnston and removed to Virginia where he died.—p. 352, Reminiscences.
Quite sadly, Napoleon (N.B.) Johnston commited suicide in August of 1884. His son, John W. Johnston (nephew of the author of Reminiscences), became the owner of the property in 1880. John built a good new house, but failed in business.
George Layman then became the owner of the property which became the Spring House in Barryville. It was very close to the Barryville-Shohola Bridge.
The Spring House was made larger and offered guests, an excellent waterfront, well-shaded lawns, and everything conducive to health and comfort.
There was an interesting news item in the June 1886 edition of the New York Times, which will be the next post.