Lafayette Hotel – History

Currently in operation, the Lafayette Hotel will transport guests back in time. The hotel has been renovated beautifully to incorporate the old Victorian era time period throughout its’ walls. The building houses old relics and artifacts from the time period which had been discovered from the area surrounding the small town of Marietta, Ohio. These artifacts aren’t the only remnants from the past. The Lafayette Hotel has also been known to house the spirits of the past which simply want to return to their home and look after their beloved and historic landmark for all eternity.

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The Past

The Lafayette Hotel currently resides where the original hotel once stood gallantly overlooking the entire town of Marietta, Ohio. The four-story Bellevue Hotel was constructed in 1892 and housed 55 rooms and a bar. The hotel was ahead of its’ time and each room contained a steam heater with hot and cold water. It met a disastrous end and burnt to the ground by an uncontrollable fire in 1916.

The rubble sat for nearly two years until the Hoag family purchased the lot and began plans for a new hotel. This hotel would be similar to the original and the plan was to hold a significant historical value. The Hoag’s formally named the resurrection of the former hotel The Lafayette Hotel. The significance of the name can be traced back to the American Revolution. In 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette visited the town of Marietta, Ohio and left quite the impression.  In 1918, the Lafayette Hotel was officially open for business.

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In 1921, S. Durward Hoag bought out the majority of the family’s ownership to the hotel and moved in, making the Lafayette Hotel his home. By 1936, Mr. Hoag wanted to expand the third floor where he stayed. This addition took nearly a year to complete and brought the room total to 77 which is where it currently stands today. He also added on an additional wing known as the Gun Room where Mr. Hoag could be found lounging on a regular basis.

Durward Hoag retired in 1973, ultimately ending the Hoag family’s ownership of the property. He was allowed to remain in the hotel and finally died in his suite in 1982.

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The Lafayette Hotel changed ownership numerous times since the Hoag family’s departure as well as many style changes to keep up with the modernizing times. By 2004, the hotel finally seemed to settle into steady management and the rooms were all converted back to the high tide of the property to the Victorian era which still exist this way today. 

The hotel also has two restaurants still in operation. The Riverview Lounge was the original restaurant in the hotel which has been kept up and remains the traditional Victorian style. Mr. Hoag’s Gun Room has been converted into the second restaurant.

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Paranormal Experiences

It is said that some spirits return to where they had the best experiences of themselves while still alive. Without much tragedy to report, aside from the fire, the Lafayette Hotel is seemingly peaceful location for the afterlife. The spirits found here come across as more playful and relaxed. As disturbing and uncomfortable as these experiences are for guests, it appears as though these entities mean no harm and simply want to experience the hotel and the guests from the other side.

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In the basement, where the current Hidden Marietta’s office is located, there are three spirits which have been reported on a regular basis. These spirits like to toy with the women trying to use the restroom in the basement. Employees of Hidden Marietta have personally experienced the door locking behind them and the lights turning out on their own. Some of the employees refuse to use the restroom downstairs because of this common occurrence. A little boy has actually been spotted outside the restroom, and because of this sighting, it is this child who is blamed for the activity in that restroom.

Mr. Hoag has reportedly returned to his homestead and business. Fifty years of owning and living in one location is such a large chunk of anyone’s life that it’s only fitting for him to return after his passing. He seemingly has two locations he is commonly spotted in: the third floor and the Gun Room Restaurant.

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On the third floor, Mr. Hoag has been known to whisper in guests’ ears and follow them up and down the hallways.  He has also been known to rattle doors through the night as patrons are trying to sleep. These occurrences have frequently been reported to staff, only for them to attribute these anomalies to Mr. Hoag just looking after the place and having a little fun. 

There used to be a mirror located on the third floor. It has since been relocated to the main hallway due to numerous complaints that guests would look in the mirror only to see someone standing behind them. This man was dressed in mid-1900 garb and just staring at them. The moment they turned away from the mirror, the man was gone. This man is said to be the apparition of Mr. Hoag himself. This large mirror is not the only one where Mr. Hoag appears, some employees even have seen him in the bathroom mirrors as they are attempting to clean the rooms.

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The third floor also has shadow figures peering out from doorways and disappearing into thin air. A woman in a white dress and a tall man in a brown suit have also been reported to lurk in the halls up on the third floor only to vanish once they turn a corner.  The identities of these two apparitions is currently unknown.

In the Gun Room Restaurant, Mr. Hoag has been recorded whispering into patrons ears and shuffle papers and menus during and after business hours. Dark mists can also be seen moving among the bar and restaurant. These shadows are attributed to both Mr. Hoag and a young woman dressed in a period dress with a white sash. She has become known as the Woman in White. She can be seen moving through tables and the bar, almost as if pacing side to side from the restaurant to the lobby. This woman is unknown but since the Gun Room was once the women’s’ sitting room of the Bellevue Hotel, perhaps she took a page out of Mr. Hoag’s book and has just decided to return to one of her favorite locations during her life.

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