Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Postcard for Haag's Hotel in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania

After all that Mild Fear, it's time for some food. Komm Esse states this postcard, which translates to "Come eat!" It's for the big spread at Haag's Hotel in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania.

Shartlesville, in a middle-of-nowhere spot just off Interstate 78 in Berks County, used to be quite the tourist spot, as it was also home to now-disassembled-and-gone model train layout extravaganza Roadside America (from which I have a big souvenir on my wall. I'll write more about that place before calling it quits on regular Papergreat postings.)

Haag's Hotel was also apparently quite the spot for good eats. The current building is what was rebuilt by Albert Jacob Haag in 1915 after a fire, according to

Retro Roadmap visited Haag's in 2012, and this is part of what Mod Betty had to say:
"While their website indicates they do technically have some hotel rooms for rent, it’s probably more well known for its PA Dutch breakfast that includes '15 or more dishes from which you may eat all you can' – do I know how to make Retro Roadhusband happy or what? While RRH was busy seeing if he could eat ALL that scrapple (yep. He did.) I ate my fill of bacon and then was off snapping photos of the grand interior, which can seat up to 350!"
Indeed, banquets were part of the hotel's business model, according to the information on the back of this Dexter Press/J.E. Reppert postcard:

Shartlesville, Pa. 19554
Shartlesville (Center of Town), Pennsylvania, 45 miles East of Harrisburg. Leave U.S. 22 (Interstate 78) at Shartlesville Exit. Telephone Bernville 215-488-6692. Open Daily, Sundays and Holidays. Closed Xmas. Pennsylvania Dutch Family Style Meals served from 11:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Standard Time. Air-Conditioned. We cater to banquets and bus groups.
Writing on Berks County Eats in 2016, Zach Brown also noted that Haag's Hotel was known for its collection of more than 200 ducks: "The ducks are everywhere. Stuffed. Wooden. Plastic. Rubber. From the moment you walk through the door, you can’t escape them. They’re on the wall. They’re on the window sills. There are even wicker napkin holders shaped like ducks on every table."

Yes, I wrote was known. The hotel closed on December 23, 2017, according to the Reading Eagle, and was put up for sale in January 2018. It hasn't reopened.

I found a bundle of photo posts with memories of Haag's Hotel on public Facebook pages (one nice thing Zuckerberg's site is good for):

One person reminisced: "I was last there a few years ago, before they closed. When I was younger it was one of my grandmothers favorite places to go. We used to make it a day by going to Roadside America, and more recently Cabela’s. Last time there the food was not what it used to be and the sweets and sours on the table family style were limited to 3 items. Just not the same."

On another page, I found that someone recently sold an original Haag's Hotel porch stick chair dating to around 1915. Here's a picture:
Getting back to this postcard, it was addressed to a woman in South Nyack, New York, but there's no postmark or year indicating when it was written/mailed. This is the cursive note:
"Thurs. Eve — Drove all day in the rain — Had dinner here & stayed in this Dutch Motel where we stayed 3 yrs ago  — Home tomorrow & I will be glad  —  Love Edith & John"

1 comment:

  1. In 2007 I took my daughter to Roadside America which she totally enjoyed. We then had lunch at Haags Hotel which was very historical and we both enjoyed. Sad to hear it closed.