Segment 11: Historical Record part 2 (2015)

written, edited, and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
performed by Dick Move, Iris Explosion, Seedy Edie, Johnny Caligula, Viktor Devonne, Sarah Tops, and Noctua, with Jack Barrow
engineered and recorded by Dick Move

patreon

transcription:

gilman-logo-new-transparentNARRATOR: The Gilman Hotel is host to a number of unusual situations, both readily available on record and some left to rumor and imagination.

LESLIE DAVENPORT, investigative reporter: I think the first weird happening that was acknowledged by the hotel was how they handled Maitland.

NARRATOR: Calvin Maitland was a businessman from Denton, Ohio who came to the town as per to Tobias Gilman’s request in 1902.

CHARLY VILLAQUEZ, magazine editor: By now, Lionel’s dead.  His brother Tobias is running things but you have to remember, the hotel wasn’t the only thing going on for the Gilman family—they have a whole corporation and while Lionel left the major decision making to his brother so he could focus on this new hotel land he’s excited about, he suddenly dies.  So now Tobias has to deal with it.  And he’s not even living in the state.

LAURA GRIFFITH-KELLY, Gilman Legacy Foundation president: Tobias Gilman shuttled back and forth for the hotel and the headquarters of the masonry business, and their philanthropic work.  But when he realized he could not dedicate the time, he found Mr. Calvin Maitland.

NARRATOR: Maitland knew the hotel business, so he was an obvious choice.  He previously worked with both Gilman brothers during the construction of his previous properties.  Maitland, however, would not live up to the task.

FELIX SCOTT, contributing reporter: In theory, Maitland owned the Gilman starting in 1902, but if you actually look at the property records, he spent almost no money on it.  All of the funding still directly came from the Gilman foundation, which at this time is Tobias,  and his underlings.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: Calvin Maitland owned the property. There are bank records that show that.

SCOTT: If anyone says there are bank records, they’re lying.  The banks on those deeds were not legitimate holding companies.  They were essentially DBAs for the Gilman company.

DAVENPORT: Yes, there is the belief that Tobias Gilman sold the hotel to Calvin Maitland but that Maitland used money that was provided to him from the Gilman.

VILLAQUEZ: The point is that Maitland wouldn’t have had that kind of money.  by now, the hotel was in massive reconstruction mode, and while the gilman company could expedite that process because they were providing their own workers, their own equipment, and their own materials, they would have had needed to have all that in motion by the time Calvin Maitland ever stepped in.   Maitland was just there to make sure the town had someone to check in on.

DAVID HANDLER, author: He was definitely in over his head.  he couldn’t have known that he was signing on to own, run, and manage this place and then get sick.  he had to leave the building several times to visit doctors because of a severe medical condition.

SCOTT: When Maitland bought the business, he had been evaluated two weeks before he moved to the Gilman to live on-site.  there was no record of any mental illness, any psycho  logical problems, or any family history of any such thing.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: It is my understanding Mr. Maitland had a degenerative disorder that prevented him from handling the affairs of the hotel.  that happens all the time. 

NARRATOR: Calvin Maitland left the hotel within 8 months of his arrival.  significant work had been done, and he believed he may have inhaled something toxic from the re-construction.  the Gilman company at that time jumped at the chance to keep that allegation quiet.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: The hotel was in perfectly fine working order when Mr. Maitland left.  there was a competent staff that handled the business while he was away.

NARRATOR: He was “away” getting major medical testing.  Maitland land complained of hallucinations, chronic pain, and vision instability as early at 6 months of his time as Gilman’s owner.

Reviewing his case, analyst Dr. Rebecca Mortinelli comments on his state of distress.

DR. REBECCA MORTINELLI, PSYCHOANALYST: Calvin Maitland was diagnosed in 1903 with dementia praecox, which made a lot of sense at the time, but what we now understand was an early term what we would call schizophrenia.  However, there are all kinds of mood disorders that Mr. Maitland may have in fact had.  Unfortunately, the psychology provided to him not only wasn’t very progressive in terms of the era, but also the facility he visited was very comfortable deciding that he was simply, in a word, crazy.

NARRATOR: Maitland’s agitation was noted by the hotel staff, who contacted Tobias Gilman with concerns.  Tobias provided Maitland with a facility that was eventually denounced for unethical practices in 1954. 

DR. REBECCA MORTINELLI, PSYCHOANALYST: Mr. Maitland would have been given a number of opiate-related treatments and was instructed to have baths on the grounds, where he would be restrained for hours at a time.

SCOTT: Calvin was viewed as a nuisance.  Since Tobias knew he was just there to keep an eye on things and then failed, the company had to somehow get rid of him.  They had already made up the idea that this guy owned the hotel, so how can they get it back if he’s still healthy but seeing things he shouldn’t be?  Easy- make him crazy.  Then suddenly he can’t run the place and you can swoop right in.

NARRATOR: A war between families begins.

HANDLER: What the Gilman company did not plan for was that while Calvin Maitland was relatively passive in his business practices, his family was not. They saw this as opportunity  to take over their son’s assets and one of those assets was the hotel.

NARRATOR: Legal arguments would persist, although quietly, for nearly a decade.

DAVENPORT: All the while, the hotel construction is back and forth—things stop, then a lot gets done, and then they have to stop again.  The hotel is beginning to lose business because the reputation is starting to depreciate.  This promised affordable luxury hotel is delayed.

NARRATOR: However, the hotel begins to become known as a spot for servicemen during World War I, and manages to keep the Gilman afloat.

SCOTT: The question then becomes where is the money going?  Why isn’t the Maitland family collecting if they’re the owners?  Why is the Gilman company, which y’know, doesn’t own it anymore at all able to claim that it is?

GRIFFITH-KELLY: I’m afraid i’m not able to provider an answer  to that.  Some documents from the foundation have been deemed eyes-only for the board members.

NARRATOR: With the hotel fully refurnished by 1916, Tobias Gilman settles with the Maitland family privately and once again acquires the hotel.  to prevent it from leaving the Gilman family in the instance of his death, the unmarried Tobias Gilman sets up the Gilman legacy foundation.

DAVENPORT: Tobias wanted to make sure the hotel was protected.  he’s getting on in years, and after the issues with the Maitland family, he figures the safest way to handle the Gilman properties, which you have to remember, are several – it’s not just the hotel – is to create this foundation which is really all about the legacy of his brother’s acquisitions.

NARRATOR: Tobias Gilman passes in 1923 at the age of 85, and all legal responsibilities for the business are shifted to the Gilman legacy foundation, which seeks out another property manager.

In 1924, a ballroom is renovated to become a local hotspot.  It is used for social occasions, including debutante balls, formal dinners, and tea dances.  However, two floors beneath it, the hotel is home to a manufacturing plant for illegal liquor, sold to the next door speakeasy. 

Clarence “Busby” Merklinley was liaison for the gangland activities that financed the alcohol, which was funneled secretly to Hester’s hat rack.  While charming with modern day perceptions, at the time, it was an incredibly dangerous association for the hotel to have.

VILLAQUEZ: The foundation maintains that the crime associations it has with that era are overplayed but there are definitely people who knew that the Gilman was playing house to this underground operation, and that definitely affected the type of clientele suddenly showing up.

NARRATOR: In 1933, the Maitland family attempted a lawsuit against the Gilman legacy foundation one more time, stating the foundation, and the deceased Tobias Gilman, were directly responsible for the poor health of Calvin, who died that year in seclusion.

DAVENPORT: The Maitlands come forward with documentation that explicitly states that Tobias thought something was wrong with the hotel.  there is speculation that either mold, or asbestos, or something highly toxic was used in the building materials that made Calvin Maitland sick.  The hotel of course, while it has the initial structure on the first two floors, has been completely gutted and added to for the final setup.  Tests are done, and they can’t find anything in the walls, the water, the floors.  The Maitlands contend that the materials that the Gilman foundation used were covered up or destroyed during that reconstruction.

SCOTT: The Maitlands lose their case.  and disappear.  Like legit, disappear.  They close up shop, families go missing, they’re just gone.  Notorious crime leader busby Merkinley’s still a friend of the hotel though.  Just saying.

NARRATOR: Shortly after the lawsuit is dismissed, the Gilman legacy foundation put john D. Cleveland in charge.  due to his political affiliations, Cleveland sets up a series of political fundraisers, which the Persephone ballroom becomes known for.

VILLAQUEZ: Cleveland lasts five years.  on the record, it’s bad investments.  He dies in ’39 when he shoots himself in the hotel.  Upon inspection, he has no money, no prospects, and basically was living off the hotel’s kitchen.  There’s no explanation.  It takes five years for anyone to even find out he shot himself in the hotel.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: Oh, I don’t know if all that’s necessary to get into.

SCOTT: Why are all these single men buying a stake in this place only to die and have no one in their family be able to follow up?

NARRATOR: Officially, Cleveland is pronounced dead at the hospital, but the foundation denies initially that he shot himself, or that he died at the hotel.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: Officially, as I understand it, and you have to understand, this was almost 100 years ago, Mr. Cleveland did in fact decide to end his life while living at the Gilman.  He was declared by the foundation as am embezzler.  He spent all of his own money on womanizing, gambling, and other behavior that they denounced. 

NARRATOR: The foundation managed to keep Cleveland’s death out of the papers for nearly a week and then, when reported, the media and the public were told that Cleveland’s death was not on-site, and was due to his own bad habits.

DAVENPORT: By the time anyone even admitted he died at the hotel, who cared, we are in the middle of World War II.  Whoever needed to get paid off, kept their word.  I think the only reason they admitted it is because someone decided to investigate on their own.  no one in the police was checking up.

NARRATOR: So began the first findings of an anti-Gilman sentiment that would very quietly grow over the years.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: People are afraid of successful people.

NARRATOR: What is now known as the #gilmantruth movement, which maintains that the foundation has engaged in immoral behavior, it was through the investigation of Margaret Henniford that Cleveland’s on-site death was confirmed, if overlooked by the general public.

VILLAQUEZ: The hotel’s in full swing, and in 1943, the Abrams brothers take it on.  they actually buy the hotel.

NARRATOR: Members of the Gilman Legacy Foundation, Ethan and Joshua Abrams purchase a stake in the hotel with permission to make improvements, and potentially find another outside seller.

SCOTT: Once again… Two brothers.  No kids, no wives.  No other kin but each other.  So if they end up chopped up in the basement, no one’s missing them.

NARRATOR: The brothers indeed ended their time with the hotel due to tragedy in 1954, but not their own.  Coming up on Historical Record: Secrets and Skeletons…

DAVENPORT: People are bloody, scrambling down the stairs screaming, running out on the streets, expecting to the see the end of the world–

NARRATOR: And later,

HESPERWOLF, spiritualist: I was brought in to connect with the spirits of the hotel. 

HANDLER: I wouldn’t exactly call her famous.

VILLAQUEZ: They sold their soul.  They were a vampire. 

SCOTT: Another one gone.  No one investigates the hotel.

NARRATOR: … on Historical Record: Secrets and Skeletons.

Segment 10: Historical Record (2015)

written, edited, and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
performed by Dick Move, Iris Explosion, Seedy Edie, Johnny Caligula, Viktor Devonne, and Noctua, with Jack Barrow
engineered and recorded by Dick Move

patreon

transcription:

viktor sketches 3 color
Lionel Gilman sketch by Fishy Business

NARRATOR: On November 30th, 1901 at the Gilman Hotel, the man who would reinvent the affordable luxury hotel model succumbed to age and illness, dying in his own room.

LESLIE DAVENPORT, investigative reporterLionel Gilman was a visionary.  He saw a way to both make money and invite the working class.

NARRATOR: Spending his final years dedicated to one building would eventually lead to rumors about unethical behavior, deceit, and even murder.

FELIX SCOTT, contributing reporter: There is no record of these people leaving the country unharmed.

DAVID HANDLER, author: He knew what he wanted, and he had the influence and money to get it.

NARRATOR: Over the years, his name is now synonymous with accidents, death, and destruction—but also hope.

CHARLY VILLAQUEZ, magazine editor: He was a great man.  the people he worked with, maybe not so much.

LAURA GRIFFITH-KELLY, Gilman Legacy Foundation president: Some documents from the foundation have been deemed eyes-only for the board members.

NARRATOR: Tonight, we discuss the marvel and the mayhem of the Gilman.

HESPERWOLF, spiritualist: I know for a fact that it is haunted.

SCOTT: If he wasn’t the devil yet, he became one that day.

NARRATOR: This is Historical Record: Secrets and Skeletons.

Dr. Calvin Bernard Gilman, age 26, fell in love with his nurse aide Virginia, age 17, at regional hospital in 1818.  They were married and Virginia gave birth to a son that was noted as being more than 2 months premature (pause) however this is due to modified birth records. In fact, Lionel was conceived before their hasty marriage and was born almost exactly on his perceived due date.  Dr. Gilman kept this information secret for more than 50 years.  When Lionel was 19, after losing a sister to sudden death as an infant, the Gilman family brought to Tobias Gilman into the world in 1838.

DAVENPORT: Lionel Gilman’s family life is mostly shrouded in secrecy as while it is well known that he kept a diary, scant passages have been released by his estate.

NARRATOR: Lionel Gilman was well educated in New England, and began his fascination with building construction and masonry in his 20s.

HANDLER: Lionel spent most of his early years making deals that would advance his name and cache, and he had to get the influence and money to get it.  While his family was not known to be rich, somehow he manages to start buying real estate.

SCOTT: Where is this money coming from?  What deal with the devil did he sign, because he certainly didn’t sign any partnership papers.

NARRATOR: Lionel Gilman spent most of life a solitary businessman.   In addition to never marrying, or raising an heir to his industry, he insisted on being the only figurehead.

HANDLER: He didn’t want to be an employee.  He spent about 4 years working under people, to the point of presumed exhaustion until he was able to start his own business.        

NARRATOR: Gilman’s company specialized in concrete and other building materials.  He stays in distant contact with his family, even after his mother becomes ill.  Danielle Gilman would succumb to complications of influenza at the age of 40.  Dr. Gilman would marry the daughter of a family friend, housekeeper Dorothy Meyer, age 25.  They would have a son, Dewey, in 1845.

DAVENPORT: Lionel’s decision to leave the company he started with was viewed as an unnatural risk for his age.  He’s 23, single, and has more or less removed himself from his family now that his father has remarried.

NARRATOR: Dr. Gilman would live for several more decades until a stroke in 1860 rendered him bedridden, and finally died in 1864 after an unspecified infection.  He was 74.  During his later years, however, he would see his eldest son make capable decision after capable decision, and providing for them all.

HANDLER: Lionel Gilman was famously generous to his family.  He would send money to them, make sure they had all they needed.  But he would do all of this at a distance; he rarely visited, he didn’t write these long letters that we can look at to see what kind of man he was, or how he felt about his stepmother or younger brothers.  It wasn’t until the 1850s where he even really seemed to establish a relationship with his brother Tobias—and that of course was all business.

NARRATOR: Beginning as a project manager, Tobias Calvin Gilman was soon given the job of head of accountants of Lionel’s second company, due to his inclination for mathematics.  The brothers would soon live together in a joint mansion, which was conceived as two buildings, joined together with a central common area.

DAVENPORT: Lionel was known for his privacy, but also it can be assumed that as a potentially lonely man, he needed someone nearby that he could rely on.  And since he wasn’t making a whole lot of friends, he had his brother.

NARRATOR: Lionel began to make enemies, as he was known for swooping in on the business deals of other companies, making a counter-offer, and landing the account.  Soon after however, additional fees and costs would rise during the construction and those companies would end up paying far more than they would have if they had stayed with their earlier company.

HANDLER: he was able to do this five or six times and no one would see it coming.  Eventually other companies would come to him, saying hey you stole our client, and he would say well i’ll give you a cut if you do the work for me.  He would hustle them out of the lion’s share of the proceeds but they wouldn’t have a choice.  If he wanted to, he would flat out buy the customer records of his competitors or for some reason the C.E.O. or main project manager of that company would quit… so he would have an easy in.

NARRATOR: Lionel created a rolodex of companies that would supply him with materials at reduced rates, for unknown reasons.

VILLAQUEZ: He knew something.  There’s no other explanation.  He had something on them.  Lionel Gilman was known as a great man.  The people he worked with, maybe not so much.

HANDLER: All of that was industry talk.  Lionel Gilman did not have a bad reputation in the world.  He was making hospitals and schools, and working with foundations with progressive social issues.  He was, essentially, a robin hood for the industry.  He was taking away these bad practices these other companies were doing, these would-be robber barons and he was actually providing something good in the world.

NARRATOR: Not everyone sees it that way.  

SCOTT: Lionel Gilman stole from the wealthy to feed himself.  While along the way, he managed to dupe an entire generation into thinking he was a Vanderbilt or an Andrew Carnegie, but instead he should be known as a thief who muscled in on smaller businesses to be the only game in town.

NARRATOR: Gilman would buy entire blocks of land, and inherit the small business contracts from multiple small businesses along the way.  One such location was the spot of the original hotel, known as the Haus Schonheit, known as the pretty hotel to locals, which lasted 2 years before Gilman took it over, first as their landlord.  

Conroy Schonheit married Adele Beauchamp in April of 1884 in Frankfurt, Germany.  Mr. Schonheit’s family were innkeepers of a small business in Holland until their death, and Conroy’s move to Frankfurt.  Mr. Schoneheit, born in Holland but of German descent, moved to Frankfurt for his studies and became an educated man of law and decided to move to the united states to build a hotel.  He had already been back and forth to the u.s. As liaison between law offices to make this a reality.

Adele Beauchamp, daughter of a widower tailor in Montfermeil, France met Conroy in Isernhagen, Germany where they quickly married.  Details of their courtship are not known, but Adele moved to the united states with Conroy where she supplemented their income as a seamstress as Conroy worked at a law firm.   Coincidentally, the law firm that Conroy worked at, Harrtmann and squire were used by Lionel Gilman in multiple business acquisitions in the 1870s and 1880s.

Haus Schonheit was the dream project of immigrants Conroy Schonheit and his wife Adele Beauchamp Schonheit.  Original plans for the hotel, registered with the town by Conroy Schonheit in 1890, indicate the hotel was initially three floors, however later reports state the original hotel was only 2 floors, not including the basement.  It is not clear why this error was reported multiple times after the building stood at seven floors; it was potentially because the third floor was heavily gutted and that the original structure of the third floor was all but unrecognizable.

On the first floor, the office and concierge desk were straight ahead from the entrance.  Only four additional, rather small, rooms were on the first floor.  They were typically given to single party guests, although there are rumors they were also provided to the women who worked the street and their clients for short-term use.  A dining room with a capacity of 42 people, two water closets, a modest parlor-type lobby setup, and 2 marked storage closets summed up the rest of the floor. 

On the second floor, there were four additional smaller rooms, and three additional larger rooms, or suites. A laundry chute led to the basement.  Each room was fit with a bathtub, sink, and toilet, cordoned off from the bedroom. 

Despite contrary reports, the third floor would have had a similar arrangement as the second floor, with seven rooms, each of them expected to be comfortable size.  This would have brought the number of rooms to 17.

The hotel was originally set up with gas lamps, and indoor plumbing was installed upon construction.  The hotel was open for business by spring of 1895, with Adele handling primary maid services until they hired friend Angela Porthos, and expanded to a larger staff by summer.  Hotel rooms were between $1.50 and $3 a night.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: In 1899, the Schonheits were approached by masonry magnate Lionel Gilman to renovate and reconstruct the hotel.  Mr. Gilman had stayed there multiple times in 1888, despite the fairly modest setting of the hotel.  Mr. Gilman owned property on much of the surrounding area of the hotel.

NARRATOR: Stories diverge at this point.  Some argue Mr. Gilman did not offer the schonheits to buy the hotel so much as demand it.  Town records show Lionel Gilman was the landlord to the building; however those records are in dispute for their legitimacy as they may have postdated.  Further dispute is brought to this as there is no lease that has been discovered that he may have had with the Schonheits.

Mr. Gilman filed a certificate of delinquency, purported to be on may 9, 1901, and filed by the county treasurer; prior to the publication of summons in proceedings to subject the land taxed to the payment thereof.  The certificate was returned to the clerk’s office by the treasurer on june 10, 1901, when it was erroneously marked and entered as filed as of that date, the court after judgment of foreclosure was authorized by a nunc pro tunc order to correct the entry of the date of filing such certificate, so as to show that it was in fact filed on the earlier date as against subsequent purchasers from the defendants in the foreclosure proceedings.

DAVENPORT: The property as thereby foreclosed upon by Mr. Gilman, who rebranded the hotel immediately, fired nearly all of the staff, and authorized it to be remodeled and built upon, increasing its floors to ten floors total, and to have all but one section, of the third floor completely removed and redone.

NARRATOR: Conroy and Adele Schonheit returned to Germany, however it is not clear what happened to their daughter, Denise, who would have been between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time of their leaving the united states.  Critics of Mr. Gilman’s legacy are skeptical of the legality of the Schonheit’s departure, stating it as deportation or false extradition. Further speculation is left on the then-whereabouts of Denise Schonheit and her connection to Lionel Gilman, which range from lascivious to criminal and even potentially deadly.

viktor sketches 4 color
Artists Rendering of Denise Schonheit, based on lithograph found on the premises — by Fishy Business

SCOTT: There is of these people leaving the country unharmed.  This is a man who just decided to get rid of people because he wanted their building for some reason.  He didn’t have to provide any amenities to them.  He didn’t have to buy them out.  He just needed them to go away.

NARRATOR: Other theories wager that Denise, a young woman at the time of Lionel’s acquisition, may have chosen to stay behind either with or without her parents permission, as she was born an united states citizen.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: I understand it’s not  a very exciting or interesting notion that an immigrant family sold their business to a u.s. Businessman and then went home, but frankly, not all stories are that interesting.  Now, there is a lot that is interesting beyond that–

SCOTT: There’s no good explanation.  You can say whatever you want for what he did as a humanitarian or a businessman but you cannot tell me that he got that hotel legally or ethically.  If he wasn’t the   yet, he became one that day.

NARRATOR: Biographer David Handler suggests instead that Lionel Gilman paid the proprietors of Haus Schonheit and enabled their return to Germany, but this is an assumption made based on letters from Lionel Gilman’s caretaker Mildred “Millie” Jackson to Lionel Gilman’s brother Tobias C. Gilman in 1902.  It is also considered that since Mr. Schonheit was a man who studied in law that he would have avoided any error in business.

VILLAQUEZ: To automatically suggest that Lionel Gilman would start making unlawful decisions after a career of the utmost respect for due process, is ludicrous and unfounded.  It is a narrative pushed by individuals who want to demonize a man who saw an opportunity to provide a stable business to a community. 

NARRATOR: Lionel Gilman did not see the renovation project to completion, dying on November 29, 1901.  By then, it was decided the hotel would be limited to seven floors, and the whereabouts of the Schonheit family was relegated to rumor.

In the 2000s, an internet campaign known as “where is Denise” was begun by the #gilmantruth organization, to further shed light on one of the presumed victims of Lionel Gilman’s final years.

HANDLER: Oh, it got wild.  They said he married her, they said he locked her up, she got walled up in one of the rooms, he kept her as a slave.  It was disgusting.  There’s no reason to think any of that if you are a person of proper mental capacity.

NARRATOR: At the rumor’s zenith, a small community theatre production purported that Denise Schonheit was a ghost haunting the rooms of the hotel, surveying the infidelities, secret meetings, and rock and roll parties that would follow in the decades.  Despite the involvement of the Gilman legacy foundation to halt such innuendo as spurious or even damaging to their business, Denise has become an unofficial mascot of the hotel, and ghost tours and docuseries on her and other people who passed in the hotel, persist.

HANDLER: The reason it persists is because it’s lurid.  It’s the first possible terrible thing to happen at a hotel where lots of terrible things have happened.  And it involves a pretty young girl, an old rich man, and the parents being shipped away.  It’s basically got a Sondheim score happening beneath it, folks.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: The story of Lionel Gilman is that of a man who loved his country, his town, and his business.

NARRATOR: The hotel would see a parade of visitors over the years, largely due to the quintessential gothic feel of the hotel, its proximity to town and public transportation, and its longstanding affordability.

DAVENPORT: Lionel Gilman was a visionary.  He saw a way to both make money and invite the working class.  As soon as the hotel was rebranded, it was a host to everyone: men on business, women who worked the street, newlyweds, traveling salesmen, wealthy older people who loved the style of the place… until the accidents started happening, it enjoyed solid bookings.  Then when it got spooky, suddenly a whole new wave of guests come, and it becomes camp.

NARRATOR: When the hotel got spooky is up for debate.

Coming up on Historical Record: Secrets and Skeletons…

VILLAQUEZ: Serial killers.  Rock star overdoses.  Arsonists.  A republican fundraiser.  The Gilman saw it all.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: Oh, I don’t know if all that’s necessary to get into.

HANDLERIt is weird.  I’ll give you that.

Segment 7: The Murder Mavens Podcast (2) (2017)

performed by Mary Cyn and Maggie McMuffin
based on material written by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
directed and produced by Viktor Devonne
recorded by Matt Storm

viktor sketches 3 color
Lionel Gilman sketch by Fishy Business

True crime podcasters Cynthia Bierderman and Veronica Fitzwilliam are back to discuss The Gilman and some strange occasions that have occurred there.

(SSDGM, with love.)

LISTEN ON ITUNES
LISTEN ON SPOTIFY
LISTEN ON LIBSYN

 

 

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Segment 1: Tour Video (1977)

written and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded and performed by Anja Keister

transcription:

viktor sketches 3 color
Lionel Gilman sketch by Fishy Business

Hello, I’m Colleen.  Thank you for joining me today as we take a look at the historic Gilman Hotel.

For generations, our families have stayed at The Gilman, the home-away-from-home that has been standing for 75 years!

It was the final vision of our town’s industrial leader, Lionel Gilman.  Born in 1819 to a devoted mother and father only a few miles from where the hotel now stands, Lionel Gilman made a name for himself with multiple acts of business savvy, and early social awareness.

Indeed, Mr. Gilman was touted by colleagues as a symbol of strong leadership, a giving heart, and an eye for the future.  While Mr. Gilman only lived two years after his amazing hotel was open for business, it was through strategic business plans laid out before he died, that ensured his building would stand proud for three quarters of century.

Basing his plans on an abandoned project, Lionel Gilman revitalized business on what is now known as Gilman Street, across from Gilman Park and within walking distance from multiple businesses that Mr. Gilman provided for.  Initially only two floors with a modest café and secondhand shop, the Gilman Hotel became seven floors of spacious, affordable luxury, a renowned ballroom function hall, and a fashionable boutique.

Over the years, the Gilman Hotel has seen thousands upon thousands of transients on the go, including servicemen, celebrities, and public figures.  But don’t you worry, it is still just as convenient and cozy to the everyman who is traveling 2 nights for business, or is in town with his wife and children all week.

The story starts here.  Lionel Gilman, through perseverance in the down-on-your-luck 1900s, created a new century of opportunity.  Refusing to compromise on supplies and equipment, Mr. Gilman personally oversaw reconstruction of this small family business and launched it into a friendly, respectable dream of a stay.

Mr. Gilman left his business to his brother, Tobias Gilman, respected philanthropist and father of industry.  Known for his work in shipyard conglomerates, Tobias saw to fulfill his brother’s dying wish, and complete the hotel as we know it today.

Here we see the lavish Persephone Ballroom, which was renovated fully in the 1950s. This comfortable, stylish room has been host to many fabulous parties, events, and functions.  While a 1954 earthquake did its best to shut down the party, the Gilman spirit could not be denied.  It was built stronger than ever. 

Notice those antique diamond chandeliers?  They are complete reproduction of the original chandeliers enjoyed by countless guests in 1904 through the 1950s, and were lovingly re-created to keep the timeless elegance the Gilman began with.  We see no reason to attempt to improve on perfection.  But don’t you worry; we are always on top of today’s electrical needs, and fire safety concerns.  An entirely new system was installed for our guests only last year.

And talk about service!  Our staff is equipped to provide you with all the comforts of home at an elevated level.  Our towels can’t be beat!  Our restaurant serves up the best stuffed crab this side of the country!  Our beds are more comfortable than you could ever demand of your everyday homelife.

After Tobias passed on, a trust was recognized by the state to provide ownership and security to the Gilman Legacy Foundation.  Truly this was the best way for the hotel to be preserved despite any changes that might occur economically, politically, or legally.  The Gilman Legacy Foundation’s mission to keep the hotel safe and comfortable, inviting all guests and longterm residents to enjoy their time here for as long as they wish.

Additionally, the Gilman Legacy Foundation is at the forefront of local charitable work.  Indeed, the Sixteenth Street Orphanage, also unofficially known as the Gilman Home for Children is provided to by the GLF, as is the Amity School for Girls, and Diamond Pond Community Playhouse which is preparing their fall season with an exciting new production of Merchant of Venice.  See you in the front row!

You’re now seeing a series of images from some of our everyday activities.  There’s our bellman with your bags; he’ll get them safely on their way.  Oh our concierge of our hotel boutique is the one to find for last minute flowers or gifts, and simply your home essentials.  Hey there, Julie!  Someone forgot a toothbrush!

And new this year, we’re opening an on-sight kennel for your traveling furry friends to enjoy their own set of amenities.  Look out, Rover could get used to this!

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon walk in our magnificent and intimate courtyard which features our well maintained rock garden and fish pond.  That fountain featuring that mischievous little water sprite has been with us these 75 years!

You too can enjoy the Gilman in all kinds of ways.  Contact us today through [garbled] and make your reservations.  Presidential penthouse apartment, honeymoon suite, and adorable rooms of affordable luxury are all available, pending availability.

We can’t wait to see you at the Gilman!  You’ll want to stay here forever!