KRIEGER HOUSE REGISTER
Oh, If Only Those Pages Could Talk!
The Krieger House Register (1873-1878)
Compilation by Dr. Gail Cooney Thompson
In 1865, Andrew H. Krieger and his wife, Louise, operated a hotel in the settlement of West Salamanca (Hemlock) at the junction point between the then NY, PA, & OH Railroad and the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad. Later that same year, when the A G & W (Erie) Railroad moved its station to north Main Street, the Krieger’s also moved and built Salamanca’s first hotel near the new station. The Krieger House was located south of the tracks on the west side of Main Street, and about where the Yellow Cab building would later be located.
As the early passenger cars offered no amenities, arriving travelers were in desperate need of food, a room, and a bath. At first, the hotel accommodated mostly rail-road workers, but as Salamanca became a railroad hub, the hotel soon catered to travelers from all over the country, and the world.
Thanks to a most gracious donation made by Phil Viviano, husband of the late Jane Morris Viviano (native of Salamanca and great-granddaughter of Andrew H. Krieger), the original Krieger House register dating to 1873-1878 is now housed at the Salamanca Area Historical Society Museum. Within its pages are the signatures of a number of America’s historical figures who patronized the Krieger House during this era.
According to various sources, guests at the Krieger House included: Buffalo Bill, Brigham Young Jr., John Dustin Archbald (partner to John D. Rockefeller Standard Oil Company), Horacio Alger Jr., Horace Greely, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The Salamanca Area Historical Society Museum is pleased to note that this historic treasure has now been digitized with a bound paper copy available for public perusal.
Historical Figures: The Krieger House Guests
- Brigham Young Jr. (December 18, 1836 – April 11, 1903) served as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1899 until his death. His tenure was interrupted for one week in 1901 when Joseph F. Smith was the president of the Quorum.
- John Dustin Archbald (1848–1916) was an American capitalist and one of the United States’ earliest representatives of the Pennsylvania crude oil producers who soon allied with the Rockefeller oil refiner cartel.
- Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917) earned his nickname by hunting and killing over 4,000 buffalo, and his status as an Old West legend was cemented with his traveling Wild West .
- Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899) was an American writer of young adult novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through good works.
- Horace Greeley (1811-1872) was an American newspaper editor and publisher who was the founder and editor of the New-York Tribune.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American poet and author.
The Demolition of the Krieger House
Built in 1865, the Krieger House survived the destructive fire of 1880, a fire that destroyed every building on Main Street as far south as the First National Bank, the only brick building on Main Street. Shortly thereafter, a portion of the hotel was moved to Maple Street where it served as the Krieger’s family residence. By 1882, Andrew and Louise Krieger retired from the hotel business.
The building would later function as a clubhouse for various fraternal organizations, a vocational school, a speakeasy during the prohibition era, and an annex to the Maple Street School. In 1932, the property was purchased by Fitzgerald brothers, and by 1939, the aged Krieger House was slated for demolition. (The Republican, August 8, 1939)