The Ghost of Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods NH

The view is breathtaking, the hotel is lavish, and some of the guests may be–well–dead.

Located in Bretton Woods (Carroll) New Hampshire, there are many qualities of the Mount Washington Hotel that may surprise you.

The Ghost Hunters episode, entitled “Ghostly Conversations“, features The Mount Washington Hotel, and aired Wednesday, April 16th, 2008, at 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm (Eastern Time). [Can you tell I love those guys!] Apparently TAPS visited the hotel on February 6, 2008, per the signature they left in the employee’s quarters.

The hotel was designed in what is known as “Spanish Renaissance Revival” style by architect Charles Alling Gifford (1860-1937). It is said to be the largest wooden structure ever built in New Hampshire. The building’s five-story octagonal towers, and 900-foot (1/6 mile) wrap-around veranda adds to its stunning appearance.

Joseph Stickney was a Concord NH native and a railroad and coal tycoon. His first hotel was called the Mount Pleasant Hotel, which stood across the road from where the Mount Washington is now (this hotel was torn down in 1939). He picked 250 Italian craftsmen and  began building it in 1900, taking about $1.5 million and two years to complete. Innovations included an auto road (at a time when automobiles were rare), electric lights, a pool and private baths in every room. The hotel was open for only one season (1902) when Joseph Stickney’s unexpected death occurred in in December of 1903. His young widow, Carolyn Foster Stickney (who married French nobleman, Prince Aymon de Faucigny-Lucinge) insured that this hotel was a leading summer resort.  In the 1930s the management passed to others. As late as August of 1934, widow Carolyn, now Princess Aymon de Faucigny-Lucinge, spent summers there (but resided in Paris with her new husband).

In June 1944 the world monetary conference was held at this location. The hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

In 1990 the FDIC purchased and refurbished it, and sold it in 1991 at auction for a little over $3 million. Up until 1999 the hotel had only been open during the summer. In that year the owners changed that, adding an extensive heating system, and keeping the hotel open year-round.

Each guest room door has one or more brass plates with names of past guests, some famous, some not so famous. Many famous people have stayed here, including Babe Ruth, Alfred Hitchcock, Thomas Edison, Joseph P. Kennedy, Princess Margaret, Joan Crawford, and John D. Rockefeller. But among the guests, are there the ghostly kind?  Rumors say that some see a woman who walks through walls, while other says photographs are mysteriously slashed. I’ve read mention of a haunted lobby, and guests may need to watch out for room 206, 217, 237, or is it 425? [The actual Ghost Hunter’s episode says it is 314 or the Princess Room that is haunted]. The tower rooms may have a woman visitor that enjoys turning the lights on and off, while babies can be heard crying in the Mt. Madison room (this is the ballroom).

[Rooms 217 and 237 are probably room numbers mentioned directly from “The Shining” book and movie”]  However, the Mt. Washington Hotel is NOT the hotel featured in the movie, “The Shining,” (that is the Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood in Oregon). “The kitchen in this movie was based on The Stanley Hotel in Colorado (Stephen King’s inspiration for writing the story and the actual location of the TV miniseries remake.) The Colorado Lounge was based on the Great Lounge in the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. The opening sequence of the movie, showing the car driving up mountain roads was shot in Glacier National Park in Montana.”

Neither Joseph nor Carolyn Stickney died even remotely near this hotel (see the genealogy below for exact death details). I was, however, able to find two verified deaths at the Mount Washington Hotel. Realize that in order for it to be New York Times news, the victims had to be fairly wealthy–so if a maid or delivery man keeled over on the front porch, it wouldn’t be in that newspaper.

–On Friday September 13, 1907, Daniel Willis James, a very wealthy metal merchant of New York, and senior member died at age 75, at the hotel of a heart attack. He was the senior member of the firm of Phelps, Dodge & Co.  The New York Times stated his worth was not less than $40 million. Mr. James was born in Liverpool England.

–On Wednesday, August 8, 1917 Alfred N. Beadleston Sr., head of the brewing concern of Beadleston & Woerz died at age 69 of intestinal hemorrhages.

So far I haven’t heard any tales about old millionaires haunting the hotel.

Janice

-Mount Washington Hotel-
(primary web site for hotel)

-Mount Washington Hotel History-

-Is This a Photograph of Ghosts at the Mount Washington Hotel?-

-Mount Washington Hotel Virtual Tour-

-Atlantic Paranormal Society(TAPS)-

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***ANCESTRY OF JOSEPH STICKNEY***
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William Stickney (1558-1665) and Margaret Pearson (1562-1592)
Samuel Stickney (1633-1709) and Prudence Leaver (1644-1714)
William Stickney (1674-1706) and Anna Haseltine (1677-1754)
Jeremiah Stickney (1702-1763) and Elizabeth Carleton (1706-1773)

Colonel Thomas Stickney, b. 15 June 1729 in Bradford MA, and d. 26 Jan 1809 in Concord NH. He m 1751 (int. published 28 Sep 1751) in Rumford [now Concord NH] to his fifth cousin, Anna Osgood, dau of James & Hannah (Hazen) Osgood. He built and occupied one of the early garrison houses in Concord NH later occupied by his son and grandson.  He commanded the 11th NH regiment at Bennington. Gen. John Stark said of him and his three other colonels, “had they been Alexanders or Charleses of Sweden, they could not have behaved better.” He was of the committee of safety, and often a moderator. His detailed and extensive service during the American Revolution is found in the book, “The Stickney Family: A genealogical memoir by Matthew Adams Stickney, starting on page 119.
Children of Col. Thomas & Anna (Osgood) Stickney:
1. Elizabeth Stickney, b. 7 Dec 1753 in Concord NH; m. Jeremiah Abbott; had issue
2. Mary Stickney, b. 28 June 1756 Concord NH, d. 5 Dec 1763 Concord NH
3. William Stickney, b. 8 Dec 1758 Concord NH; m. Susanna Emerson; had issue
4. Jeremiah Stickney, b. 20 Oct 1764 Concord NH; m. Charlotte Odlin & Mary Eames; had issue
5. +Thomas Stickney, Jr. b. 18 July 1769 Concord NH
6. James Stickney, b. 5 June 1775 Concord NH, d. 11 Oct 1778

Thomas Stickney Jr.,  b. 18 July 1769 in Concord NH and d. 1 Jan 1811 in Concord NH. He m. 13 Oct 1792 in Concord NH to Mary Ann Odlin/Audley, dau of Rev. Woodbridge & Abigail (Gilman or Strong) Odlin/Audley. She was b. 24 Sep 1772 in Exeter NH and d. 21 Jan 1866 in Concord NH. He enlisted as a minuteman in 1797 to be ready to march to Oxford MA and was a leader of the local choir. Was at one time the largest tax-payer; owned an area in Concord NH from Gov. Stearn’s house to the Eagle and from Main Street to the river, plus land on the east side, and from the jail to Rum Hill. He was the owner and occupant of the old Garrison House (a view can be seen in Bouton’s History of Concord).
Children of Thomas & Mary Ann (Odlin/Audley) Stickney):
1. Charlotte Stickney, b. 4 Sep 1793 Concord NH, d. 19 Aug 1794 Concord NH
2. Woodbridge Odlin Stickney, b. 22 Feb 1795 Concord NH, d. 17 Sep 1820, Augusta GA, unmarried
3. +Joseph Pearson Stickney, b. 9 Oct 1796 Concord NH
4. George Stickney, b. 26 March 1799 Concord NH, d. 26 Oct 1830 Castine ME; m. Mary Stackpole; had 2 children, George Woodbridge and Harriet S.
5. Anna Stickney, b. 25 Aug 1802 Concord NH; m. Benjamin Boardman Esq. of Lawrence MA

Joseph Pearson Stickney, was b. 9 Oct 1796 in Concord NH and d. there 19 April 1877. He was a farmer, and he owned an extensive line of stage coaches. He build several blocks of stores in Concord NH. He was elected representative and selectman, and chosen a director of the P.& C. Railroad. He m. 25 Dec 1832 to Lucretia Gibson, dau of John & Mary (Gale) Gibson. She was b. 10 Oct 1809, and d. 31 May 1840, age 30 in Concord NH giving birth to her son Joseph. She had been educated at Miss Willard’s school in Troy NY. Joseph P. married 2nd) 31 Aug 1843 in Beverly MA to Elizabeth W. Edwards, daughter of Col. Abram Edwards. She was b. 6 Nov 1809 in Beverly, Essex. Co. MA
Children of Joseph P. & Lucretia (Gibson) Stickney:
1. Maria G. Stickney, b. 7 Jan 1834 Concord NH, d. 12 Aug 1834
2. Caroline G. Stickney, b. 9 July 1836 Concord NH, d. 4 May 1849
3. Charles Stickney, b. 13 Apr 1838 Concord NH, d. 13 Apr 1838
4. +Joseph Stickney, b. 31 May 1840 Concord NH
Children of Joseph P. & Elizabeth W. (Edwards) Stickney:
5. Anne Edwards Stickney, b. 29 Oct 1845, d. 14 July 1846
6. Frank Edwards Stickney, b. 29 Dec 1846
7. George Woodbridge Stickney, b. 21 Nov 1848
8. Edwards Stickney, b. 13 Sep 1851, d. 4 Sep 1856

Joseph Stickney, son of Joseph P. & Lucretia (Gibson) Stickney was b. 31 May 1840 in Concord New Hampshire, and died 22 December 1903 in New York City. He was educated in Concord New Hampshire and at Thetford Academy (VT). He engaged in various businesses from railroading to coal mining and handling, and real estate. When he died he was worth an estimated $10 million. He owned a steam yacht called the “Susquehanna.” One of his New York residences was 42 W. 57th Street. He started work on building the Mount Washington Hotel in 1900, finishing in 1902. He married 14 Jan 1892 to Caroline/Carolyn Salome Foster, dau of Reuben B & Salome G. (Eames) Foster. She was b. 17 July 1869 at Waltham, Middlesex Co. MA and d. 2 November 1936 at age 67 at her residence at 19 Stimson Avenue in Providence RI. Her funeral services were held at St. Stephen’s Church in Providence RI, and she was buried at Blossom Hill Cemetery,  in Concord NH. (per NYT obituary of Nov. 4, 1936).  In 1906 Caroline made a donation of $5,000 to Waltham Hospital (in Massachusetts) to provide a free bed, in memory of her late husband. The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration (aka Stickney’s Memorial Chapel) is an English Tudor chapel built in 1907 by Carolyn Stickney as a memorial to her husband Joseph. Constructed of granite quarried from a nearby mountainside and studded with priceless Tiffany stained glass windows, it is a fine example of English Tudor Architecture. For many years, the chapel was the summer home of the famed Bretton Woods Boys Choir.  Carolyn Stickney married 2nd) 2 July 1913 to Aymon de Faucigny-Lucinge, son of Louis & Amanada (Mailly) de Faucigny-Lucinge. He died on 1 August 1922 at age 60 at Chateau de Charddonneux. [See Granite Monthly for Joseph Stickney’s entire genealogy] [See Foster Genealogy for Carolyn’s genealogy]. She did not have children by either husband.  Before 1932 she set up a trust fund for her sister’s daughter Carolyn.
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Princess Aymon de Faucigny Lucinge of Paris, who spent the summer at the Mount Washington Hotel, has left to sail for France. As the former Miss Carolyn Foster of Waltham, she has many social affiliations in Boston. She is a graduate of Lasell Seminary. Her dinner given recently for 18 guests in honor of Bishop John T. Dallas of New Hampshire was one of the notable events of the season — Sunday, August 31, 1930, Boston Herald, Boston MA
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Mr. and Mrs. Arthur D. Little of Brookline arrived this week at The Mount Washing Hotel in Bretton Woods for their annual visit. The Princess Aymond de Faucigny Lucinge of Paris, who has been playing a round of visits since arriving in New York from France last month, now is at the Mount Washington for her annual visit of several weeks, joining her sister, Mrs. Frank B. Reynolds of Providence there. — Sunday, July 28, 1935, Boston Herald, Boston Mass.
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Providence, Sept. 22–Judge Hugh B. Baker granted a divorce to Mrs. Carolyn Reynold Wilson, wife of Majr. Fred W. Wilson of the U.S. Army. Non-support and extreme cruelty were the grounds of the petition but the decree was granted on the latter. Mrs. Wilson waived alimony, it being explained by her counsel, Joseph W. Grimes, that she enjoyed the income from a trust fund established for her by an aunt, Princess Aymond de Faucigny Lucinge. — Friday, September 23, 1932, Boston Herald, Boston Mass.
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The photograph shown here was taken by my father in 1936, the year “Princess” Caroline died (minus the ghostly visitor on the front lawn, that I added in just for this article). The original photograph was sent to the Mount Washington Hotel several years ago for their archives.

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One Response to The Ghost of Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods NH

  1. leticia matthews says:

    i was just watching the episode of taps and decided to look up this hotel i was blown away by the beautiful photos of this grand hotel and curious about caroline foster stickney aka the princess, someone should write a book about all this it would be a great read.

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