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Leslie House/Hotel - New Castle PA

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The Leslie House or Leslie Hotel, one of the largest hotels in the region, was opened in downtown New Castle in c1853. Over the years the first and second floors were mainly occupied by small businesses, while the top two floors housed the majority of the guest rooms. The building was actually spilt it two by a dividing wall (until 1923), and had separate entrances for each half – on East Washington Street and South Mercer Street. In 1908 the building, owned by W. S. Moore, underwent extensive remodeling and was reopened as the “New Leslie Hotel.” In 1922 the hotel, and its popular Leslie Grill (or Leslie Lunch), was shut down for a time as a legal dispute raged concerning it’s ownership. A group led by C. Ed Smith Jr. took control in January 1923, remodeled and refurnished the entire inside, and added twenty hotel rooms on the second floor. A fire damaged the top floor on November 20, 1960, but the building was saved. Another fire, which started in the Branding Iron bar and restaurant on the first floor, engulfed the building on the evening of Sunday, February 4, 1968. The back wall and a section of the roof collapsed. Five fireman were injured and the hotel was considered a total loss. Numerous adjoining stores were also damaged to some extent. The old hotel was soon razed and cleared away and the site later became a small parking lot. (c1925)Full Size


  1. I am very glad you got the story right on the Leslie Hotel. You see, the fire of Nov. 20, 1960 started in my apartment and I was lucky to escape with my life. In the book “A Pictorial History of John Hitch’s New Castle Volume 1 they got it wrong in that it say’s that fire burned the Hotel down. If I can help you any with the events surrounding the fire and the history of the hotel in the that time frame you call reach me at the above e-mail.

    I am a genealogist and I did a genealogy on the Genkinger family for a family member some years ago. I came across the murder of Herman L. Genkinger by Frank Johnson. While reading your article on the O’Toole-Barber murder case, I see his Johnson’s sentence was comutted to life in prison. I will be looking forward for your story on that.
    Richard J. Harvey
    728 Castle St.
    New Castle Pa. 16101

  2. Does the name Bart Stoughton mean anything to you ?

    Thank you.

  3. I am building a tree on my husband’s family, which includes many Leslies. I have made progress but have had difficulty establishing exactly who was the Leslie who built and opened Leslie House in 1853. Does anyone know?


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