Ronald L. Andrews
National Hotel [Demolished]
Main Street (US 40) & Jennings Road (MD 495), Grantsville, Garrett County
Fronting on Main Street (US 40), the National Hotel stands on the southwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Maryland Route 495 in Grantsville. The hotel is a 19th century hip-roofed frame structure, 3 1/2 stories high on a stone foundation. A 2 1/2 story gambrel-roofed wing extends from the rear (south) elevation. The entire building is covered with clapboard siding. The principal (north) facade has two doorways and three large windows on the first floor, and five windows on the second and third floors. An ornate, one-story frame porch with turned posts and balustrades and a classical columned projection over the main steps stretches across the front and along part of the west side. The roof is pierced with large double-window hip-roofed dormers, one each on the east, north, and west sides. The windows of the upper levels of the main portion have double-hung wooden sashes with 2/2 lights. The large windows of the first floor consist of a large single pane below two smaller ones. The east gable end holds two large plate-glass windows on the first floor, two 2/2 sash windows on the second, and three on the third. The windows on the 6-bay wing have double-hung wooden sashes with 1/1 lights. Two gable-roofed dormers with double windows pierce the rear wing's east roof slope. All of the principal windows have decorated lintels consisting of sawtooth molding with trim above and small brackets. The surrounds of the second story windows in the main block flare out just above the sills. The interior of the lobby, which occupies the entire first floor of the main block, has Eastlake trim.
The National Hotel was built for Henry Fuller, an innkeeper from Salisbury, Pennsylvania who moved to Grantsville in 1837. The earliest part of the present structure was erected c. 1842 on the site of the Lehman House, an earlier hostelry. Serving as an inn on the National Road, it is still used as a hotel today, supposedly in continuous operation since its opening. There were once dozens of inns and taverns along the National Road and the Baltimore Pike. Today, with the greatly lessened travel along these roads, few of these remain. The eleven buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places under the "Inns on the National Road" thematic nomination, many of them still serving their original function, stand as the physical remains of the almost legendary hospitality offered on this well-traveled route to the west.