Menu

Hotel History

Louis Fauchère

Hotel founder Louis Fauchère was born on March 4, 1823, in Vevey, Switzerland to a family that had been chefs and hoteliers for 13 generations. At the age of fifteen, he began his apprenticeship as a cook, and later took employment at several prominent hotels in Switzerland.

On November 16, 1846, he married Rosalie Perrochet in Switzerland; they had one daughter, Marie, who was born May 4, 1848 around the time Fauchère immigrated to the U.S., where he found employment as a Master Chef at New York’s famous Delmonico’s. In his early career in the U.S., he also worked during the summer at Delavan House in Albany, and at the Fort William Henry Hotel on Lake George before taking over a small hotel and restaurant, once known as “The French Hotel” owned by his wife’s relatives, who had come to Milford as part of the French settlement in the early 19th century.

Although Fauchère was a native of Switzerland, his mother tongue was French and he was thus known in Milford for years as “the crazy Frenchman”. It is unknown whether he earned his nickname for tempestuous behavior befitting a mercurial master chef, or because of the crazy dream he had for the Fauchère, or for some other reason.

One thing that is known: Louis Fauchère’s innovative cuisine and stylish inn-keeping was a hit in Pike County. By the late 1870s, he had plans for a larger and grander building. The original building (since demolished) was moved to the rear of the property, and he set about constructing the elegant classic Italianate building that today remains the heart of the Hotel Fauchère.

Fauchère maintained “personal charge” of the hotel until a year prior to his death, on September 11, 1893. His daughter, Marie Fauchère Tissot, took over and is remembered as, “a lady of marked executive ability and pleasing manners, under whose administration the house more than maintains its old popularity”, according to a biographical sketch of Louis Fauchère. The hotel was subsequently owned and managed by his descendants until closing in 1976, an impressive 124-year run under the same family’s ownership.

Today, we are proud to uphold the high standards of hospitality – innovative cuisine and stylish innkeeping – that have become synonymous with Fauchère.

Hotel History

The Hotel Fauchère was, like virtually all hotels in Milford, originally a summer business. During the winter months, Louis Fauchère worked as a master chef at Delmonico’s in New York City or, in later years, traveled to Europe.

The present Italianate-style building opened in 1880, with 18 sleeping rooms and a beautiful, glass-enclosed dining room at the rear of the house. No record exists of the present building’s original architect, although it is likely that Fauchère, a master of detail, was heavily involved in the design.

Even at that early date, the Fauchère complex consisted of adjacent properties.

The large, red brick, gothic-revival house on Catharine Street, located to the east of the present Fauchère complex, became known as Delmonico’s Cottage. Named for its honored guests, the cottage housed the famed Delmonico brothers and their families, when they visited their friend and former Master Chef, Louis Fauchère, at his elegant country establishment.

The Delmonico connection was important to the success of the Hotel Fauchère, as Delmonico’s was the first and most famous restaurant in America in the mid-19th century. Any chef would value the credentials of working in Delmonico’s, but to enjoy the friendship of its famed proprietor was a rare honor, which contributed greatly to the cachet of the Fauchère.

Next door to the hotel, the site of the Fauchère Meeting Center and Patisserie Fauchère, was known for years as the Fauchère Annex and was used as a residence by the Fauchère family as well as for guest overflow.

Letters from the Hotel Fauchère’s Historic Guests

Interested in history and guests who chose the Fauchère centuries ago? Peruse our archives of timeworn letters, authored by Louis Fauchère and his hotel guests.

Timeline

1880

1880

The current Hotel Fauchere building was constructed in 1880 in classic Italianate style. Note that the porch only extended from the front face of the building and the steps ran the entire length of the building.
1883

1883

A few ladies sitting on the porch watching the passing summer traffic.  That's still a fun and popular activity today!
1884

1884

This is a view looking south toward the hotel.  The smaller building in the foreground was Dr. Emerson's pharmacy.  A few years after this picture was taken, Dr. Emerson moved the building across the street and built on the old site a magnificent Queen Anne style residence.  Today, the "Emerson House" houses the Patisserie Fauchere on the first floor and the Fauchere Meeting Center--a state-of-the-art small meeting and conference center--on the second floor.
1885

1885

This is another early image of the hotel, showing a picket fence around the right side, near where the entrance to Bar Louis is today.
1892

1892

The Hotel Fauchere has been a destination for family gatherings since 1852. This well-dressed group looks like they are serious about their family photograph.  Note the door immediately to the left of the hotel's front door; today that is a window. The big piece of bluestone sidewalk is still in place.
1896

1896

This is a great picture of a winter snowstorm in Milford with a horse-pulled sled passing the front of the hotel.  Note the building to the left of the hotel; that was subsequently moved across Broad Street into the next block and now houses Naked Bagel.
1902

1902

This is in front of Dr. Emerson's pharmacy, immediately to the left of the hotel, before the building was moved across the street.
1903

1903

After Dr. Emerson moved his pharmacy and built his new house a little further from the hotel, the hotel expanded with this porch wrapping around the side.  It also created a lovely side yard; that's Warren Fauchere Chol, Louis Fauchere's grandson, in the near foreground on the right.
1904

1904

Note the fire escape that was added to the front of the hotel.  The HOTEL FAUCHERE sign, that previously was on the front face of the building, is now on the front of the fire escape.  Horse and carriage waiting out front while a few guests are enjoying the porch.
1909

1909

Now the sign is moved down to the top of the front porch.  Note the round globed Victorian-style pedestrian light; in other vintage pictures, there are Colonial-style street lights that are more angular. In 1999, as part of a streetscape enhancement project, Milford was installing pedestrian lights but there was a debate:  would they be Victorian or Colonial in style? There was historical precedent for either one, so the Milford Enhancement Committee sponsored a ballot. Colonial won.
1912

1912

This is a good view of the Emerson House, built next door to the Hotel Fauchere in 1904.  Classic Queen-Anne style, it was built by Dr. Emerson, then the Fauchere family purchased it and lived in it. During the summers, they rented rooms on the second floor (which is now a conference facility).
1917

1917

During WWI Charlie Chaplin came to the hotel, promoting war bonds.  Note the awnings and how the long steps across the length of the porch are now gone, in favor of a railing and narrower steps.
1918

1918

The war was over and the hotel celebrated with lavish landscaping. Note also the edge of a large sign on the roof of the building, facing the traffic coming from the East. Milford's sign ordinance wouldn't allow such a sign today! Note the barber pole at the entrance to the basement level on the right.
1926

1926

There are a lot of people on the porch in this picture, but it is also one of the few vintage photographs that show the hotel's shutters closed. Maybe it was mid-day and they were avoiding the sun?
1929

1929

This is a view of the hotel along Catharine Street, showing the two entrances that were installed on that side.  Catharine Street, spelled Catharine, not Catherine, was named after one of the daughters of Judge Biddis, the circuit court judge who laid out Milford in 1796, making it one of the first "planned" communities in the U.S.
1930

1930

This is the oldest color image of the hotel and adjacent Emerson House, from a black and white photograph that was tinted for use as a postcard.  Our awnings today are red-and-white striped, just like in this picture.
1933

1933

The red and white awnings are very welcoming. When they are installed in early April, it is an announcement to the whole area that spring has arrived.  And when they come down in December, it makes us think of the cold and snow to come!
1934

1934

Another postcard image, showing lush plantings. One of the reasons Milford became such an attractive summer destination was because there were few mosquitoes in the area (for several reasons, including the altitude and large bat population). An old promotional brochure claimed the Chamber of Commerce would pay $1 for every live mosquito caught in Milford Boro!
1935

1935

Another snowy scene, from the Catharine Street side, but this one shows the "summer dining room" a rear porch on the hotel that was packed from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Around this time was when the hotel had central plumbing installed and they could get rid of the "30-seater" outhouse in back (one seat for each of the hotel's then 30 rooms!)
1943

1943

Is that a 1942 Cadillac parked along the side of the hotel?  Note how the sign that was previously on the face of the building and above the front porch is now on the side of the building, between the first and second floors.  Today it is also on the side, but between the second and third floors.  A sign directing traffic to the Milford Theatre (now the "Historic Milford Theatre") is nailed to the tree.
1954

1954

The oldest real color photograph of the hotel!
1957

1957

Miss Anna Chol, one of Louis Fauchere's great-great-granddaughters, who ran the hotel for much of the 1950s and 1960s, posing on the front porch.  She was known for making sure her servers (she called them her "girls") had clean nails, stockings with the seams straight in back and could recite the menu by heart.
1958

1958

Is that a 1958 Packard station wagon in front of the hotel?
1964

1964

The awnings here look green and white.  On the top of the porch, at the edge right above the main entry stair, is a small electric sign.  It was installed around 1915 and was the first electric sign in Pike County, with each letter made of an individually blown piece of glass.  It reads "Fauchere's Est. 1852"; perhaps just "Fauchere's" rather than "Hotel Fauchere" because it was fewer letters and therefore less costly?
1965

1965

By 1965, the country was changing, Milford was changing and charming small-town hotels were having a tough time of it.  The new interstate highway system and chain hotels and motels hurt their business and many were struggling to survive, including the Hotel Fauchere.
1973

1973

By 1973, the Fauchere family was facing difficult decisions with the family business, but they kept the property maintained beautifully. No matter what was happening behind the scenes, to their guests and the public, they made visiting the hotel a special, memorable and wonderful experience.
1974

1974

This is a beautiful drawing of the hotel, sketched just a year or two before the business closed.  Look closely and see the sign for The Chicken and The Snail, the small basement bar that featured folk music.
1976

1976

After the Fauchere family sold the property to Lew Miller, the building was converted to other uses.  This picture is of Art Seigel, moving into his new law office.
1981

1981

Other parts of the building were used for medical offices and a clinical laboratory. The third floor was closed and a large HVAC duct ran down the center of the hallway.
1987

1987

Bruce A. Frank made this drawing of the Hotel Fauchere, perhaps nostalgic for its grand past, about a decade after the hotel closed.
2001

2001

The side porch had already been removed to make way for a wheelchair-accessible ramp and the building was in serious decline when, in 2001, Richard L. Snyder and Sean Strub, both Milford civic leaders and historic preservationists, purchased the property from the estate of Lew Miller, thereby saving it from demolition.
2002

2002

This is what the hotel looked like shortly after it was purchased by Sean Strub and Dick Snyder.
2005

2005

Nearing completion... this is just a year before the grand reopening in 2006.
2006

2006

After a 30-year closure, the Hotel Fauchere reopened to great acclaim in 2006, with 16 guest rooms, marble baths, a permanent exhibit of vintage Hudson River School paintings and a lot of pride.
2007

2007

Memorial Day, 2007.
2010

2010

After a winter snowfall, there's nowhere quite as romantic as the Hotel Fauchere.
2015

2015

There's nothing like a rainbow to lift one's spirits.  This picture was shared with us by the guest who took it.