an article published in the Jefferson College Times,
College Historical Society, Vol. XXII, No. 2, May 1989.
Cushnie Hotel and residence at 322 and 324 South Central Avenue,
Canonsburg, PA. photographed about 1909. The buildings were razed
in the early 1960s.
Land and Improvement Co., which had purchased the Black farm on the
south side of Chartiers Creek in 1894, immediately
laid the farm out in building
lots. In 1901, William H. Fee purchased lot #225 which was located on the
west side of Central Avenue north of the lot on which the two- story
Canonsburg School building would soon be erected.
(1841-1920) and his wife, Margaret, (1855-1911) purchased lot $225
William and Julie M. Fee. The Canonsburg Notes, April 3,
the heading ”Local Happenings” states: "Mr. Cushnie of
Greenside Avenue, Canonsburg has moved to his new house on Central Avenue."
Fee to Cushnie deed describes the property as fronting 40 feet on Central
Avenue and extending west for 190 feet to Black Alley. The purchase
price was $250.
was born in Scotland and came to America at an undetermined date. It
is known that he worked in the coal mines
at Carbondale, Pa.
The family later
moved to the Pittsburgh area where they purchased property prior to
coming to Canonsburg.
Notes of September 30, 1904 announced that ground had been broken
for the Cushnie Hotel on September 22,
1903. The hotel
the house and connected to it by a wing at the rear of the two buildings.
The street address of the hotel was 322 South Central and the house
The Notes of
September 30, 1904 stated the hotel building had been completed and
the rooms were being furnished. The details
floors on which rooms are located, seventeen sleeping rooms, mostly
on the third
and fourth floors, the first floor contained a store room for the
and a large hall, and the second floor comprised an office, dining
room and parlor.
In an earlier
article (September 2, 1904) the Notes stated, "The proprietors
propose to do a regular hotel business, and it is probable that
they will run a hack line to and from the railroad station. For almost
a year and a half
Canonsburg has been without a hotel of any kind, and in this
respect the town has occupied
a unique as well as an unenviable position."
from R.L. Polk & Co's Washington Canonsburg Directory 1905-06.
the local paper October 25, 1904: "The Cushnie Hotel is
open and doing a fine business." The Notes lists the
proprietors as the Cushnie Brothers, but the directory sting
Cushnie and Sons" as
proprietors. The sons being: David P, Charles C. and John D.
family also operated a commercial bakery in the hotel building. The
large brick oven was heated by gas and
300 loaves of
bread at a time.
John D. Cushnie, one of the sons of David, Sr., was the baker.
The bakery had a horse drawn delivery wagon and another son,
Charles C., made the
deliveries of baked goods to stores in the area.
De Cushnie was known to have been the host for the traveling show
companies that came to the Morgan Opera House.
Dr. M. Esther
Cushnie is quoted,
in a family
letter, as remembering the theatrical people coming to the
hotel and she "peeking
in the dining room and seeing them all dressed up." Since,
at that time, it was the only hotel here, many of the guests
would have been persons who
had business with the Bridge Works, Canonsburg Pottery or
the Canonsburg Steel and
failed to mention that the Cushnie Hotel was in the Borough of South
municipality which was not merged with Canonsburg until
By the time
the Polk Directory for 1909-10 was issued, the hotel was not listed.
Charles C. and his wife, Sarah,
next door to
the hotel. He was by that time an electrical engineer
at the Standard Tin Plate Co. The father and mother were also
at the same
the hotel only operated for about five years and then the rooms were
rented as apartments or by the
Max Cushnie was operating the bakery and John D. Cushnie, who was formerly
one of the hotel proprietors,
having a grocery
in the hotel
store room. Later, John D. left Canonsburg and was
employed by the Ford Motor Company. David Cushnie,
Jr. was employed
the hotel ceased to operate.
been several tenants in the front store room of the hotel building.
M. Esther Cushnie,
a daughter of Charles C., had her medical office
there. Later Patsy Matrogran had a shoe
repair shop in the store room.
heirs sold the property in 1960 and the 1961 directory lists 322 as
Route 79 began
and the building
that had been the Hotel De Cushnie was demolished.
The site is now a high fill on the west side
of the Route