Columbia Hotel, Fire 2012

History of the Columbia Block

With the coming of the railroad into downtown Leominster in 1849 there was a large increase in the number of people coming to town. It is estimated that as many as 36,000 passengers annually rode the rail lines to travel to and from Leominster.

Prominent businessmen of the time, Judge Hamilton Mayo and the Honorable John M. Lockey saw the need for a first class hotel to accommodate passengers, many of whom traveled to Leominster, stayed overnight at the hotel and continued by carriage the next day to summer homes in Princeton. Traffic through the the town’s passenger depot assured the grand Columbia’s success.The massive three-story hotel building was designed and constructed of brick by Dunn & Ingraham in 1892. Mr. Parker S. Fuller, known for his excellence in running a fine hotel and dining room, was the manager when the Columbia opened to the public in 1894. The well-appointed building offered small rooms for private parties as well as large ballroom functions. Stores and offices opened to the streets around the hotel. Shown is the hotel as it appeared on a typical summer day in the early 20th century.

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