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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.
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.
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.