THE HISTORY OF OWEGO’S PARKVIEW INN
Owego, a name derived from the Iroquois word Ahwaga, which means where the valley widens, was first settled about 1786 and formed in 1791.
B y 1840, the bustling village included several businesses, such as the Farmer’s Exchange owned by early entrepreneurs, Robert and John Cameron. In 1867, the year Owego’s Parkview story begins, the Cameron brothers thought that Owego needed a hotel. They invested in building what became known as the Exchange Hotel and hired Irish immigrant Hugh Dugan to manage it
Dugan later purchased the property and aptly renamed it the Dugan House. By 1878, a second floor balcony was added, followed by an addition on the building’s east side. After Dugan’s death in 1885, his widow and son, C.B., added on to the west side, and then the remarried Mrs. Simeon Barrott ran the hotel until 1910
William F. Barry and Isaac Norton purchased the hotel from Mrs. Barrott in 1910, and by 1916 it sold again, this time to Charles E. and Lillian Page, who renamed it the “Page Hotel.”
Charles’ step-daughter, Alice Shauffler, took ownership in 1928, and then sold to Johh and Rose Kaufelt in 1946, who chose yet another name, the “Park Hotel.” Rose than sold to Hazel Priestly in 1963. In 1972, Clyde Barnes, Leo VanWie and Joseph McTamney became joint owners.
“The Parkview” was adopted by Joseph and Louise McTamney, who were owner/operators for nearly four decades. Just as Beth and Mark Johnson were ready to sign on in 2011, a catastrophic event, Tropical Storm Lee, flooded the entire first floor of the building, however the event compelled the Johnson’s to bring the property back better than ever.
Listed on New York State’s Haunted History Trail, the property has been featured on national and local television and has garnered notoriety for its haunted happenings and mysterious stories of spirits, which have been confirmed by paranormal professionals.
One spirit is that of a two-year-old name Marguerite, who rocked in a rocking chair too close to a warming fire in 1909 when a blanket on a chair caught fire. Sadly, the young girl lost her life from burns she sustained.
Listen closely. You may just hear the sound of the Parkview’s dinner bell that many have attested to is the way Marguerite shows that she is still nearby.
Look closely. The spirit of longtime Owego resident Floyd Hooker sits at the famous handcrafted oak bar. Floyd scored the “luck of the Irish“ one St. Patrick’s Day when he won $45 million from a NYS lottery ticket sold here.
Look again. The spirit of Hugh Dugan, whose family operated the property for some 34 years, also sits at the bar. Perhaps he is admiring the newly renovated hotel while downing his favorite Irish brew.
Careful, you may bump elbows while you sit at the bar. Three spirits of cowboys often hang out at the end of the bar, and are believed to have murdered a man in the basement crawl space here. Not convinced? A recent bathroom renovation dug up some old bones, likely those that belonged to the victim.
Walls do talk. A sealed-off room, dusty and quiet after a 1970’s fire was found only with in the last five years, and yet another endearing room, referred to as the “Crying Room,” which a paranormal professional has identified as the site of a child’s death, has astonished and stirred up tearful emotions of several visitors.
Famous visitors have been here. The property has been visited by respected dignitaries and famous people, such as notable guests, John D. Rockefeller and Oscar Hammerstein. It has also hosted many-a-traveling guest, such as early railroad executives and even a popular palmist by the name of Madam Julian, who, according to historic, newspapers, gave readings of hands to ladies at the Dugan House for a mere 50 cents.
Owego’s Parkview celebrates its milestone 150th anniversary in 2017, and like many in the community, owners Beth and Mark Johnson feel a special connection and attachment to the historic property.
Enjoy your visit and come again soon!