The Story Behind Our Historic Resort
The Story Behind Our Historic Resort
It all began with the view. Once upon a time, on a rainy night in 1865, two weary travelers on their way from Boston to Montreal found themselves literally stuck in the mud after the stagecoach in which they were traveling overturned. The driver directed them to a nearby farmhouse in the small township of Whitefield, New Hampshire.
A Place of Hospitality from the Start
Despite the late hour, the owners of the farmhouse—William and Mary Jane Dodge—welcomed the travelers graciously and took them in. Though the travelers originally planned on a single night's stay, their desire to reach Boston quickly waned thanks to two fortuitous occurrences.
First, the travelers were greeted in the morning with a delicious home-cooked breakfast. And second, after breakfast, the two travelers went outside and witnessed the breathtaking view of the Presidential Mountain Range, a majestic series of 4,000-foot peaks in the White Mountains. This made the travelers extend their stay for a week. Here is where the hotel's history begins.
A Brief Lesson on Our Long History
- 1865—First lodgers
- 1866—Official opening as an Inn and first addition to the home is made
- 1872—New three-story building replaces farmhouse
- 1880—Another addition doubles the size of the Mountain View House
- 1884-1919—Dodges oversee management and expand hotel into a substantial resort complex
- 1900-1905—Nine-hole golf course, steam heat and electric lighting added
- 1911-1912—Erect Italian Revival style tower—focal point of resort visible from miles away
- 1919-1948—World-class resort with fourth floor, east wing expansion, clubhouse and swimming pool
- 1965—Century Hall, a modern and functional entertainment hall, is added
- 1979—Sold to Mountain View Associates
- 1986—Hotel closes
- 1999—Golf course, clubhouse, heated pool, tennis courts, lawn games and wine cellar renovated
- 2001—$20 million renovation including interior demolition, exterior construction and landscaping begin
- 2002—Mountain View Grand celebrates Grand re-opening
- 2005—Property joins unique collection of historical hotels, including The Biltmore and Le Pavillion
- 2009—Commissioned Northern Power Systems to build a 121-foor wind turbine behind the resort
History Video Series
The short history series below will take you back to the day when Mr. and Mrs. Dodge took in their first weary travelers, and how such an act of kindness would transform their home into a world-class resort and spa where thousands of guests visit every year to make their own family histories.
On a dark and stormy night in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire a stagecoach bound for Montréal battled its way along a road that the weather had turned into a sea of mud. The coach hit a pothole and overturned near the town of Whitefield. The driver directed the stranded passengers up a dirt track, telling them they would find shelter at a farmhouse about half a mile away, home to Mr. and Mrs. William Dodge.
The first incarnation of today’s hotel was born as “Mountain View House”. The Dodges placed a small advertisement in the Boston Transcript and in 1866 received their first registered guest, a gentleman named Mr. Palfrey from New Orleans.
In 1884 Van Herbert Dodge, William and Mary’s son, took the reins from his father and became the second generation to run the inn. Four years later he married Alice Stebbins, the principal of a local private school. Under Alice’s daily supervision and Van’s counsel and book keeping skills the small inn expanded to a popular resort hotel.
In 1920 Frank Schuyler Dodge followed in the family footsteps and took over management of the hotel. His son John would later describe him as a man who had “inherited the energy, enthusiasm, and worth of his mother as well as the steadfastness of his father”. By now the hotel had come a long way from the small farmhouse on that stormy night in 1865 but the Dodges were by no means finished with their building work.
Schuyler and John Dodge became the fourth generation of the family to run the hotel. Schuyler took control in 1954 and was joined by John when he returned from service in Korea. The two brothers, and many of their staff would travel to Florida and work in hotels there during the winter season returning each spring to prepare the hotel for re-opening.
In 1989 the hotel was put up for sale. The entire content of the hotel was auctioned off including typewriters, ice tea glasses, bath towels and pillowcases. At the end of the two days there were no acceptable bids for the hotel and Mountain View House was boarded up.
Viewed from a distance Mountain View House still looked every bit the architectural gem. Up close the hotel was in a state of abandonment and disrepair. Many of the “Grand Old Ladies” were destroyed by fire but somehow Mountain View House managed to escape such a fate. In 1998 it found a new owner.
In 2005 the current owner, American Financial Group, purchased the hotel and continued to renovate the property and enhance guests’ amenities and experience. The Mountain View Grand is one of only four grand hotels in New Hampshire.
On June 2, 2015, the water towers that had stood behind the hotel for over 50 years were taken down by the expert professionals at Iseler Demolition. The water towers had been used primarily to irrigate the golf course and the resort grounds. However, in the past decade they had become significantly corroded and in 2015 reached the end of their lives.