Manufacturers: Syracuse China and Scammell China
User: Forest Hills Hotel – Franconia, New Hampshire
Date of examples: circa 1920s-1930s
Notes: When Harry W. Priest and James W. Dudley opened their Forest Hills Hotel in 1882, it contained 60 rooms. Over the years there were a number of additions which brought the room count up to about 200 by 1930, In 1920, the dining room for this American plan summer resort was tripled in size.
In 1954, George Collier of Wilmington, Delaware, bought the Forest Hills. He spent more than a quarter million dollars upgrading and improving the hotel. A dining room photograph from around this time shows different china on the tables. The hotel's 75th anniversary season of 1959 included a number of events planned to attract guests, but there were just not enough reservations to support this elaborate summer resort. At the close of the season, George Collier donated the hotel to the University of New Hampshire. After one school term the university sold the facility to Franconia College. In 197,8 Franconia College went into foreclosure, the building contents were auctioned off, and the building was abandoned. The remaining sections of Forest Hills Hotel were burned by the fire department in early January 1986.
Both Syracuse China and Scammell China produced a crested pattern for the Forest Hills. The decal crest is an overlapping "F H" monogram composed of green and brown letters made to appear like parts of tree limbs. This monogram, with a tree shape behind it, was in use in 1922 when the hotel was operated by Karl Abbott. Spaced around the rim are pinecone and needle decal ornaments. The ornaments are connected with brown pin lines below a green rim line. On some of the smaller pieces, Scammell used a decal pine needle and cone border that they used for a number of other customers. One of the surviving Syracuse pieces has a date code for July 1937 (R-7).
Franconiah.org – Vol. 32, No. 2, October 2015 – Detailed history of the hotel
Weirsbeach.com – Photos and information
Nhpr.org – September 19, 2018 broadcast about the hotel being used as Franconia College
Author and photos: Larry Paul