History of the 

Historic Holly Hotel

(excerpted from the Statement of Significance, National Register of Historic Places.)

In 1863, the first railroad tracks to reach Holly were those of the Detroit and Milwaukee Line, later joined by the Flint & Holly Railroad Line, founded by Henry Crapo. A modest, two-story wood building, called "The Washington House," occupied the corner where the Holly Hotel presently stands.

More than 25 trains passed through Holly each day, bringing passengers, railroaders, freight and transients into the village and the saloons that lined Martha and Broad Streets. Recent free-for-all brawls typically left so many injured that Martha Street was dubbed "Battle Alley" by the locals--a name that remains today.

The Holly Hotel was the hub of social activity in the early 1900's.  Civic and social groups utilized the Hotel while train travelers and salesmen used the public rooms for meets and demonstrations. Sunday Dinner at the Holly Hotel was a formal event for locals and visitors alike, usually preceded by a performance at Baird's Opera House, one block south.

The Historic Holly Hotel is a domestically scaled, three-story, gabled hip-roofed, red brick, Queen Anne style structure. There are two equally important facades: a long north elevation facing Battle Alley, and a narrow, east elevation facing the railroad tracks on Broad Street. The transition from the dormered, hip-roofed, north elevation is accomplished by means of a three-story, helmet-domed, octagonal, corner tower, which is the most architecturally distinctive feature of the building. A Tuscan column porch shelters the main entrance on the north facade is a 1913 replacement of the original 1891 porch which burned. The interior is elegantly finished with custom millwork, tin ceilings  and plaster walls dating from the 1913 appearance. 
The Holly Hotel is significant for its prominent role in the social life of Holly and as an example of the rapidly vanishing railroad hotels once so common in American small towns. 

More than 25 trains passed through Holly each day, bringing passengers, railroaders, freight and transients into the village and the saloons that lined Martha and Broad Streets. Recent free-for-all brawls typically left so many injured that Martha Street was dubbed "Battle Alley" by the locals--a name that remains today.

The Holly Hotel was the hub of social activity in the early 1900's.  Civic and social groups utilized the Hotel while train travelers and salesmen used the public rooms for meets and demonstrations. Sunday Dinner at the Holly Hotel was a formal event for locals and visitors alike, usually preceded by a performance at Baird's Opera House, one block south.

 

 

A view of the main entrance of the Historic Holly Hotel.

 

 

 

 

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Copyright 2003-2008 [The Holly Hotel/Holly Management, Inc]. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 23, 2008 .