[Could not find the bibliography file(s)
Well, this is quite something.
Alex Jay, a long-time friend of Shady Characters, wrote in after last week’s trip to Ampersand Mountain with the results of a little historical detective work. It turns out that not only do the Adirondacks boast an Ampersand Mountain and an Ampersand Creek, once upon a time the discerning holidaymaker seeking “music, tennis court[s], base ball field, boating, riding etc.” could have done a lot worse than check in to Hotel Ampersand, nestled beneath the mountain of the same name.
Alex came across Seneca Ray Stoddard’s Adirondacks Illustrated guidebook,[?] the twenty-third edition of which was published in 1893 (and from which these illustrations are taken) while researching the graphic design of the ampersand through the years.* Stoddard was a renowned photographer and travel writer with a fondness for the Adirondacks in particular, who publicised his photographs and books with public lectures describing his trips to all corners of the globe.[?] (I am put in mind of those bands who use live gigs to sell other merchandise such as T-shirts and CDs.)
Stoddard was evidently quite taken by Hotel Ampersand. He described it as “roomy, rambling and artistic — full of unsuspected corners and pleasant surprises”; he draws attention to the elevator that “makes all floors almost equally desirable”; and notes approvingly that the hotel “is heated throughout with steam and lighted with gas.” Separately, and rather surprisingly, it transpires that the New York Public Library possesses a menu from the hotel’s spacious dining room, dated to 1891, and from which one might order a cosmopolitan meal of Consommé Royale, Beef Braisé à la Bourgeoise, and Almond Blanc Mange.[?] Discounting its rural situation, the Adirondacks’ Hotel Ampersand was — well, it was The Ampersand Hotel of its day.
So: are there any other punctuation-related hotels or eateries out there? Let us know in the comments! Finally, many thanks to Alex Jay for taking the time to send over this material — I hope that you all enjoyed this trip down punctuational memory lane as much as I did.