In 1860, Mathew Clare purchased a large double house on Court Street beside the County Jail. He soon remodeled the building into a hotel, which he opened as “Clare’s Hotel.” Clare advertised, “No pains will be spared, on the parts of himself or wife to make their patrons comfortable, well fed and provided with good rooms and clean beds.” Clare’s Hotel, along with the nearby Eastern Hotel, especially catered to business travelers and people attending court.
Mathew Clare and his wife, Catherine, were immigrants from Ireland. He was no stranger to the hotel business in Machias. For ten years before opening his hotel on Court Street, Clare had operated a hotel and livery stable on Water Street. He also ran a daily stage between Machias and Lubec, which connected with the ferry between Lubec and Eastport.
In 1881, Mathew Clare died from injuries sustained in a carriage accident. The Machias Union noted, “From his long connection with hotel life he had large acquaintance.” After his death, the hotel continued to be operated by his wife and descendants until around 1920 when Bertram White purchased the building, tore down the front, and used the property for a garage.
In 1938, the property was purchased by the County of Washington, which tore down the remaining buildings for use as a parking lot, which use continues to this day.
Caption written by Lyman Holmes