For many of you who do not know the history of the Roseboro Hotel – Originally, it was three separate hotels, the 1850’s Howland House, The 1896 Rosenberg Hotel and the 1870’s Rosenberg House. They were joined with connecting additions in 1900 to form the current 45,000 square foot building.
The overall style is Renaissance Revival and the hotel once boasted its own gas plant for lighting in 1896. It had 135 rooms, (but only 27 bathrooms!) one of the first sprinkler systems and a 1939 Otis Elevator, which is still there. Big Bands of the 30’s & 40’s played to high-stepping dancers in the Ballroom. The 3,500 sq. ft. dining room served the best Kosher food in the area.
Most of the original buildings were built using square nails. Square nails date from 1820 -1910 which is considered the peak manufacture and use of this type nail. Most local blacksmiths made nails who hammered them into shape (dating back to Roman times), then they were cut from sheets of metal and finally by machines that tapered them and created the flat rectangular heads.
After about 1920, wire nails came into use. They were cheaper and much faster to make since they could be completely made by machine. Interestingly, the old square nails can hold more than four times better than the more modern round ones. One reason that carpenters kept using square nails is that there is less risk of splitting the wood that is being nailed.
Unfortunately, as the interest in mineral baths declined, so did the tourism in Sharon Springs. The Roseboro Hotel closed its doors in 1968 and stood decaying as a stark, empty reminder of Sharon’s prosperous days. Throughout its history, the Roseboro entertained thousands of guests fleeing the summer heat of the city and escaping to the mineral spas of Sharon Springs.