History of The Phoenix Hotel
The first hotel built on this site was known as the Kyle House. George Harrison Kyle took possession of the lot in 1853 from the International Order of Odd Fellows. He was an architect & builder & must have built the original hotel. It was destroyed by fire (date unknown) & was rebuilt by Thomas Delaney, who had bought the property in 1884. An impressive brick, it then became known as “The Delaney House.”
Delaney was an old Irishman. He came from Ireland as a hod carrier.
“The hotel had an oil lamp in every room and had 22 regular boarders – the courthouse men, some school workers and lots of traveling men. They would display their goods in the sample room. There were lots of draymen who pulled wagons to and from the river. Storekeepers from all the country stores & from Ghent, Carrollton & Warsaw, Kentucky came to pick up
By 1898 the place was known as “The Phoenix Hotel”, because it had risen from the ashes. “There are thirty-two guest rooms, hot and cold water baths, is lighted by electricity and heated throughout by furnace.
The culinary department & care of the rooms are under the direct supervoisioon of Mrs. Tower & she sees to it that the rooms are properly aired & thoroughly cleaned. The table is remarkable as being supplied with the choicest viands that the market affords. An elegant brougham meets all boats & conveys the patrons of the hotel from the river.”
Sullivan’s Pharmacy was a corner drugstore in Vevay for 77 years, from 1919 to 1996. W.T. Sullivan purchased the drug business from I. W. Golary in 1919 and started Sullivan’s Pharmacy. In 1946 Jack Sullivan entered into partnership with his father, and assumed management upon his death in 1954. Jack had purchased the building from the Tandy estate in 1972. The pharmacy closed when a Hooks Drug Store opened & Sullivan retired.
From 1996 to 2003, Tom & Judy Richardson owned the building. They did serious restoration of the exterior. The Phoenix Hotel sign was repainted, & bricks tuck pointed. The old carriage house was still part of this property. A charming frame building, held over from the days of horse & buggy, it was refurbished as well.
In 2003, Switzerland County Tourism purchased the property, and opened it as a Visitor’s Center, with offices for the Director & Staff on the first floor. A subsequent restoration project added a meeting room and 3 offices on the 2nd floor. The carriage house was developed into a small residence & sold to a private owner.
Swiss Perks Coffee Shop now open at the Visitor’s Center. Full service espresso bar.
Open to the public seven days a week, the Visitor’s Center also offers a reception area, tourist literature, a comfortable sitting room, and restrooms. Exhibits from our museums and artwork by local artists cover the walls. Special events & exhibits are held periodically & during the First Friday activities every month.
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