This rare photo of the hotel in Glen Hope, which stood at the intersection of Routes 53 and 729, is thought to date from the mid 1850’s.
It shows the building still under construction. The hotel was once known as the Washington Hotel and accommodated travelers making the journey from the Curwensville/Lumber City area, through Ansonville, Glen Hope and Janesville and then to Tyrone.
Glen Hope Borough once prospered as a village that based its economy on neighboring farms and on the early logging industry that used Clearfield Creek as an avenue to float logs to sawmills.
This route was once used by First Nation/American Indians peoples, as it connected the West Branch of Susquehanna River system, in the north, to the Little Juniata River System in a southerly direction.
It is likely that Civil War recruits marched past the hotel on their way to board rail cars in Tyrone before rail lines connected Clearfield to Philipsburg.
The camera, as we know it, was invented in France in 1839. To have the bulky equipment and tripods in the near wilderness area in Clearfield County, less than 20 years thereafter, was an accomplishment.
Photographic records of the Clearfield County Historical Society indicate that this may be the second-oldest surviving photo in the county. A portrait of an elderly John Owens, a Revolutionary War veteran, who died in 1853, is thought to be the oldest.
The outer structure of the hotel was made of locally fired brick. It changed ownership over the decades and at last fell into gross disrepair.
The faded paint of the words Washington Hotel could still be seen on the side facing Route 53. The building was locally purchased and was demolished last year.