The Carsden Inn

By Shawn Harrington, Curator, The Manchester Historical Society
When the automobile age arrived in Manchester, accommodation for
chauffeurs and their cars were needed for the staff of summer visitors.
The Orchard Park Hotel on Main Street (located where today’s Taconic
Resort stands) had a newly built garage and accommodations for the
drivers, but following a dispute between Louise Orvis, proprietor of the
Equinox House and Charles Willard who owned Orchard Park, Louise
built her own “auto livery” and inn for the drivers.

The Carsden Inn was built in 1912 on Union Street with 100 rooms,
a new fireproof garage, gas pumps, and mechanics to work on the cars. A
large carriage barn was also kept for those who hadn’t made the switch
to the latest form of transportation. By the time the Great Depression
had set in, most summer visitors no longer had dedicated staff and the
inn closed. In 1937 the newly formed Winter Sports Club sponsored an
indoor skating rink in the former garage. The rink measured 170’ x 40’
and was so well received, that the town appropriated annual funds for
maintaining the venture until 1950. While attempts were made to revive
the skating rink, ultimately it proved to be unsuccessful and the buildings
were demolished in 1964.

The site is now the Equinox on the Battenkill Sports Center on Union

c.1920 view west towards Mt. Equinox showing the Carsden Inn
Chauffeurs pose with their autos outside the Carsden Inn ca. 1915