History of The Warwick Hotel
Originally built as a private residence, it became known as the "Cross Keys Hotel" around 1800 when it was a well-known stop on the turnpike from Philadelphia to Harrisburg. It was then owned by the Baum family and went by many names under their ownership- "The Mansion House,", "The U.S. Hotel" and sometimes just "Baum's Hotel". In December 1889 it was sold to Joseph S. Early, a local legend, Civil War Veteran and the last surviving member from the "Boys in Blue", it then became known as "Grand Central". Amenities added under Early's ownership were gas, water, inside plumbing and steam heat.
Early sold the hotel to A.L. Taylor in 1895. Taylor installed a solid cherry side bar with 3 French plat mirrors (parts of which are still in place today) and added electricity. Taylor then sold it to Aaron Porter in 1889 until his retirement in 1903 when Mr. Early once again took over the business. In January 1899, its first long distance telephone was installed in the reception room.
In 1907 Mr. Early retired and sold the business to A.K. Eischied. There's not much mentioned after this until 1920 when Jacob Shenk sold the property to Charles Frederick and Charles Scandalis; while J. Emmet Page held the lease at the time. This was a sad time in the U.S. for barkeeps as they were currently in the Prohibition Era. Page however, remodeled the bar room and made a restaurant and quick lunch spot.
In 1923 Samuel Wolf bought the property from E.M. Hershey and stopped the hotel lodging when he turned the building into apartments. In 1926 he rented the building to W.M. Siler who would once again use the building as a hotel and also a poolroom and restaurant. At that time, the name changed to the "New Warwick".
In 1933 the bar room could again be used as originally intended with the repeal of the 18th Amendment. Siler remained in charge until 1945 when Orlando Orsini took over. Orsini modernized the bar into the current "U" shape and was in charge for 30 years. With his retirement in 1975, Mr. & Mrs. Philip Paine, Orsini's daughter and son-in-law took ownership. Paine, a professional baseball player helped make the establishment the local place to keep up with sports, both on a local and national level. Mr. Paine passed in 1978 but Mrs. Paine along with her daughter Sherri Rizzo and husband John continued the business until 1995.
It was then the ownership passed to another local sports icon. J.D. Mathers, son of Hershey Bears hockey great Frank Mathers. The establishment then shifted from baseball to hockey. In 1997 "The Garden Room" was added on the west side of the building. In 2002 a B&B opened on the 3rd floor with 7 rooms and 2 baths. At the same time the banquet facilities on the 2nd floor were renovated. In 2010 the upper portion of the patio was added.
In 2019 Mathers sold the business to Jody Dimpsey and her husband Richard Reisinger Jr. They have already renovated the dining rooms and the bar room and added a lower patio in 2020. Jody and Rick will continue to make improvements due to their love of Hummelstown and the people that live and pass through it. Although it is no longer a hotel, there are whisperings of someday renovating the 3rd floor and perhaps hosting guests once again. "The Warwick" or "The Wick" as it's lovingly known today has been a staple in Hummelstown for a very long time. So, eat hearty and enjoy the casual atmosphere.
And... if you happen to hear the creak of an old carriage wheel, or the low neighing of an impatient horse awaiting its owner outside... remember these walls have nearly 2 centuries of memories.