Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lancaster's Hotel Brunswick, where you outen the lights

This old linen postcard is a Genuine Curteich-Chicago "C.T. Art-Colortone." That dates somewhere to the 1930s through 1950s. It has never been used.

It advertises the Pennsylvania Dutch Room, which was "one of five air-conditioned restaurants" at the Hotel Brunswick in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Hotel Brunswick no longer survives under that name. On, there is a message that states: "The Hotel Brunswick has been sold and closed. The new owners have restored and renovated the hotel property." Web users are then directed to the website for The Hotel Lancaster, located at 26 East Chestnut Street.

While the Hotel Brunswick must have been a very respectable lodging in the mid 20th century century, it came to a sad, dilapidated end in recent years. Here's an excerpt from a December 2013 article on
"The Brunswick is history. It is no longer the name of this hotel," [real estate developer John Meeder] said. "Sorry historians, but there is too much baggage." ...

Along with the name change, it allows him to distance the hotel from the recent history of the site and start anew.

The Brunswick, at 151 N. Queen St., had been beset with problems in recent years.

City officials and the county district attorney had urged the court to declare the hotel a nuisance last year.

They contended drug use, brawls and underage drinking were occurring there.
(In case you were wondering, 26 East Chestnut and 151 North Queen are the same corner of the same block. So The Hotel Lancaster simply changed its street address to further distance itself from Hotel Brunswick.)

Returning to the vintage postcard, the front of the card emphasizes the Pennsylvania Dutch aspect of Lancaster County with a collection of native phrases that you don't see very much elsewhere in the United States or world:

  • Throw Papa down the stairs his hat!
  • It wonders me!
  • Daniel loves to dunk Fastnachts
  • Papa's on the table and half at already!
  • Katy's hair is stroobly!
  • Aunt Minnie is wonderful fat!
  • Jonathan outens the light
  • Such a pair of schmootzer's!
  • Rachel's busy snitzing apples
  • Amos' tooth ouches him!
  • It makes down!
  • Lonnie makes the grass off
  • Sarah spritzes the lawn
  • You must be ferhext!
  • Don't be so doppick!

Almost every one of those phrases could be its own fun blog post. Maybe I'll get to some of them some day. In the meantime, my wife has written about some of them on her long-running Only in York County blog:

1 comment:

  1. Joan's post about the Pennsylvania Dutch [German, really] adjective "stroobly" or "strubbly" is augmented by this extensive etymological analysis of the term (p. 140 in the document):

    If that analysis is accurate, there is a semantic relation to the noun "strumpet".

    Linguistics takes you down almost as many paths as ephemerology does.