Historical Places

Coit House

Coit House - Eddy Road & Lake Shore Boulevard
Coit House - Eddy Road & Lake Shore Boulevard

Location: Northeast corner of Eddy Road and Lake Shore Boulevard

Following the death of Henry Coit in 1870, his son, Charles, capitalized on his family’s reputation for hospitality by converting his father’s farmhouse into a summer hotel called the Coit House with facilities for swimming, boating, and fishing.

Tavern keeper Jacob Silverthorn made it a popular resort. The Coit House had no bar but the geniality of the host and the fame of his wife’s chicken and creamed potatoes plus oyster suppers attracted a large following. Parents felt no qualms about permitting their daughters to attend the hotel’s oyster suppers without a chaperone.

The building was a two-story country hotel with porches all around. Nearby cottages were also available for guests. A fountain in a grotto spouted on the flowers and lawn. Large wooden picnic tables were placed in a grove where picnickers could watch cargo ships go by in full sail. A hand-operated merry-go-round was enjoyed by the children. Boats were left at the grove for fishing and pleasure. The hotel's billiard room was safely tucked away in the bathhouse.

Female guests took leisurely strolls to a pair of bridges that arched over scenic Dugway Brook. There was an easy walk to the beach. Ladies correctly attired in the newest long-sleeved navy or black bathing attire spent little or no time on the beach, being handicapped with knee bloomers, long skirts, stockings, and slippers.

The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad built a small railroad station in 1873 with a siding east of Eddy Road north of the tracks. A wagon ran from the depot to the Coit House for convenience of customers.

The Coit House Hotel closed in 1878 after operating for eight years. Charles built a new hotel closer to the lake in the mid-1980s. In 1890, it became the setting for the Bit & Bridle Club, a small, informal group of horseback riders who frequently rode from their Euclid Avenue mansions to open country along Lake Erie, meeting at the Coit property.

Charles Coit sold five acres including the hotel to the Country Club in 1889. The hotel caught fire in the summer of 1894 and burned to the ground.