Monadnock Moments No. 63: The Leffingwell Hotel

The Leffingwell hotel in Dublin, NH

Dublin’s famous Leffingwell Hotel was recognized as one of New Hampshire’s outstanding summer hotels in its day.  For more than thirty years the hotel prospered, entertaining many famous individuals.  The Leffingwell was a centerpiece for Dublin, overlooking the town center from its vantage point just above the village.  The hotel was an imposing 3 ½  story structure, with an additional 2 story annex that could accommodate 150 guests.
After 31 years of service to a generation of tourists, the Leffingwell met a sad end in a disastrous fire that the town has never forgotten.  In November of 1908, the hotel was closed for the season and under the care of a lone caretaker.  On the evening of November 22nd the caretaker went out for supper.  While he was away, fire broke out in the Leffingwell’s attic. Townspeople rushed to the scene.  But unfortunately Dublin had no fire protection at that time, and the hotel was soon fully engulfed in flames.

The residents began to fear for the village and many people began to wet down their own homes. The hotel annex soon caught on fire and the Leffingwell complex burned out of control.  Fearful residents plastered the church roof with snow.  The Unitarian parsonage, standing a few feet from the annex, burned next.
The new town library was the next structure in the fire’s path.  The library, however, was constructed of stone and had a slate roof.  This stone building checked the spread of the fire and the village was saved, but the huge hotel crashed to the ground and the famous Leffingwell became only a memory.