11. Chandler Hotel

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    Moving next door we come to the Chandler Hotel—well, it’s not a hotel at all anymore, but it’s still a comfy place to stay a while.  Chandler’s first elected mayor, David A. Jacobson, who was also responsible for construction of several other buildings in the downtown district, erected the structure at a cost of approximately $15,000.  The bottom floor was leased out for stores, and the second story was the reasonably-priced hotel, an affordable alternative to the San Marcos Resort.  The local newspaper bragged in 1914, “The hotel proper contains fifteen rooms, with French windows, three bath rooms, screened porches for all the quarters, hot and cold water, and hardwood floors…The porches are provided with swings and everything has been done by the proprietor, David A. Jacobson, to give Chandler and its visitors one of the most up to date hotels possible.”  Many prominent Chandler businessmen, especially those working downtown, kept permanent residence in rooms at the Hotel.  Over the years, the Hotel would change names and owners several times.  Many residents may recall gathering on the balcony during World War II to practice air raid drills.

    In 1917, Hugh Gardner opened the first of several drugstores that would occupy the first floor of this building.  Years later, Dudding’s Rexall Drug Store occupied the space.  For decades, the most popular Saturday night activity was to congregate on this corner outside Dudding’s Drug Store.  People would come from all over town to just sit and talk, since there were not many other places in town to do so.  One resident who remembers being here in the 30s and 40s reminisced, “By evening, you could just sit down on the drug store corner and watch people.  You didn’t need any other entertainment.  Saturday night was the big night in town.  Just really interesting, we’d just park the car downtown and sit and watch people go by.  It was the shopping time, too.  The grocery stores were open.”  This corner, in particular, with the park nearby, will always hold a special place in the hearts of Chandler’s older residents.  Ask them their fondest memories of growing up in Chandler, and sitting on this corner on Saturday night will always be among them.  One might say this is the spot that made the town of Chandler a community.


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