The Temperance House – Niagara Falls, New York (1919)

Before the proliferation of hotel chains, finding agreeable public accommodations could be unpredictable for travelers who were wary of public drinking.

Many public houses and taverns provided sleeping accommodations, but most hotels also featured large bar rooms.

For the traveler hoping to avoid encounters with public drinking, and for adherents of the Temperance Movement, one solution was the Temperance hotel.

Originating in Great Britain as early as 1833, the Temperance hotel was acclaimed as a safe and wholesome alternative to public establishments where heavy drinking was normative.

This postcard photograph of the Temperance House in Niagara Falls was mailed to Fannie, Mrs. Graybill Hosler, in Manheim, PA.

On the reverse, Ida writes that their “crowd” of 14 was eating and sleeping at the Temperance House while exploring the region around the Falls.

Within a year of this mailing, the US enacted a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcohol.

Ironically, that was the beginning of the disappearance of the Temperance Hotels.


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