The Doyle hotel is located in an old and rundown building, but it was a “must stop” place for me because of its history on the A.T. The original wooden building, built in the 1770’s, burned to the ground in 1803 and was replaced by the current brick structure and it is rumored that Charles Dickens stayed here during that period. It was purchased in 1880 by Adolphus Busch of Anheuser-Busch and it opened again as the Johnson Hotel in 1905. When Busch died in 1913, the Budweiser Company sold it when Prohibition hit in 1920. After passing through several owners, it became The Doyle in 1944 when Jim “Doc” Doyle purchased it with his winnings from the Irish lottery and operated the hotel into the 1990s. It again passed through two different owners until 2001, when current owners Pat and Vickey Kelly bought it.
Pat and Vickey, who have been married for 38 years, are a couple of old hippies who are a hoot to be around. They are responsible for opening the hotel to smelly hikers and have turned the place into an A.T. institution. For $25, you can get a room (albeit with no air conditioning), a shower, and a free daily shuttle to the market for resupply.
My room in this tired and rundown building reminds me of Ralph Kramden’s place on “The “Honeymooners”, but that is part of the charm of the place. The building has some gorgeous woodwork and with the right investment it could be a beautiful place. But since it sits in the Susquehanna River flood plain, that is unlikely to happen. In the mean time, Pat and Vickey struggle to keep the place open as a haven for tired hikers.
Today, after a great breakfast at Goodies Diner across the street, I have spent my time resting, catching up on the blog, and doing laundry. This afternoon, I walked through the town of Duncannon to the Road Hawg BBQ food truck where I enjoyed the best brisket sandwich I’ve had since Nashville and followed it up with a blueberry sundae at 3B Ice Cream. Tomorrow I’ll be back on the trail.