137 East Front Street  |  Hancock, New York  13783 | 607-637-7100 

 

 


              

 A Brief History of The Hancock House


    
The new Hotel is fashioned after the original Hancock House built in 1848 by James and Susan Faulkner. It was called The James Faulkner Hotel and was operated on the site of what is currently The Grand Union supermarket.
     Some time later the hotel was sold to Charles Judson. He renamed the hotel "The Stage House", as stage coaches were the transportation of the day. A wooden road ran by the front door of the hotel & stretched all the way to Walton, NY, some 20 miles away.
     In 1872 the hotel's name changed again. The Hancock House, and a tradition of excellence, service and quality was born. Mr. & Mrs. Charles Bell bought the Hancock House in 1908. It remained a family venture until the death of Mrs. Bell in 1940.
     During that time many celebrities could be found at the Hancock House. FDR gave a speech from the second floor balcony in 1929 while he was Governor. New York Yankee great Lefty Gomez stayed at the hotel frequently. The 1940's and 50's were boom times for the old hotel.
     But nothing lasts forever. Rose and Paul Simek, the last proprietors, oversaw the razing of the Hancock House to make way for the Grand Union supermarket, which is currently Tops Market. The village would be without a Hancock House for the first time in over a century.
     Two  blocks to the east of the original Hancock House and 35 years later, on the site of a former soda fountain, women's clothing store, shoe repair and car lot, the new Hancock House has risen, dedicated to the same standard of quality that was enjoyed by Hancock House patrons over a century ago.

 




A Brief History of Hancock

 Hancock is "The Gateway To The Delaware River". The East and West branches of the Delaware River converge at Hancock from opposing directions at the base of Point Mountain to form the headwaters of the Delaware River which eventually flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Atop Point Mountain is a mausoleum that was built by Dr. Frank Woolsey in the 1940's to house his remains. The mausoleum lies empty today and is now abandoned. Dr. Woolsey was never buried there.

   The Delaware river, along with the many streams, lakes and ponds that surround Hancock are teaming with brook and brown trout, perch, bass, bullhead and eel providing what many call... "the best fishing in the United States." The river also provides summer passage for canoers and rafters "running the rapids" to Equinunk, Skinner's Falls, Fishes Eddy and points as far south as Port Jervis and New Jersey. We will be happy to arrange a fishing guide for your stay at French Woods.

   In the 1960's, New York Route 17 was designated most scenic highway in the nation and thousands of people ventured to the Hancock area each year to marvel at the Autumn foliage which is usually is at its' peak around the first week of October. Autumn is closely followed by large game hunting season in November. Hunters from as far away as 500 miles come to Hancock to bag their trophy white tail deer. Many Black Bear have also been taken in the Hancock area in recent years as well as pheasant and other small game. The spring time of the year yields a generous maple syrup and maple butter producing season. Maple syrup from Hancock is shipped all over the world and rivals the famous Vermont Syrups.

  Built in the early 1930s to link Port Jervis with the town of Hancock, Route 97, which begins its' journey at Hancock, has been designated "the most scenic highway in the East." Hancock is "The Gateway to The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway". French Woods Golf & X-Ski Resort is located 8 miles from Hancock on on this historic and beautiful Route 97.

 

Spring finds golfers converging from all parts of the world to play at French Woods Golf & Country Club. The public course offers panoramic views and 18 challenging holes carved out of the Catskill Mountains.

   The main industries of Hancock are timber and stone. Hancock is home to many hardwood mills. Oak, maple, ash, cherry and other fine hardwoods are shipped all over the world to be fashioned into everything from book cases and chairs to baseball bats. World famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats were made from Hancock timber for over 85 years. The wood that made Babe Ruth's bat was carved from a tree that grew in Hancock. "Honest" Eddie Murphy, who played on The Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates, was born in Hancock on October 2, 1891. Honest Eddie Murphy's Tap Room in the Hancock House Hotel is named in honor of Eddie. In 1918 his batting average was only 3 percentage points behind Babe Ruth. He was also the first batter to ever face Babe Ruth when The Bambino broke in as a pitcher. Eddie Murphy appeared in 3 World Series.
   The area is also known world wide for it's Bluestone quarries. Bluestone finds its way into everything from patios and fireplaces to sidewalk curbs in New York City. Hancock is "The Bluestone Capital of the World". Many New York City landmarks contain Hancock Bluestone such as The Empire State Building and the base of The Statue Of Liberty. Bass & Sons Lumber is one of the foremost

  Winter brings record snowfalls, along with eager cross country skiers that enjoy the French Woods trails as well as several downhill slops located within 45 minutes of Hancock. Snowmobilers have reclaimed the old railroad beds in the area, creating literally hundreds of miles of trails.

  Hancock is located only 2 1/2 hours from New York City, New Jersey and 3 hours from Philadelphia, making it a perfect summer or winter vacation retreat. Travelers and tourists alike take advantage of the dozens of restaurants, motels and B & B's that dot the village and surrounding local area.