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Hotel Medford Allowed Wealthy Guests, but No Dogs

Many hotels allow pets these days, but that wasn’t the case years ago at the Hotel Medford.  Built in 1911 on West Main Street, the five-story hotel boasted crystal chandeliers, a marble fireplace, and luxurious rooms for its wealthy guests. The manager, Emil Mohr, made no exceptions to his “No Pets” rule.

In 1918, when Buster Brown was in town advertising Buster Brown Shoes, his famous dog, Tige, was not allowed in his room.  Buster Brown wasn’t the only one who failed to bypass the “No Pets” rule.

Mohr had a similar dispute with a visiting actress.  As the story goes, Mohr told the actress, “Madame you cannot keep that dog here as it’s against our rules.” The indignant actress responded, “The absurd idea. Why, this is a house dog.” Mohr did not hesitate to reply, “Yes, I know, but this is no dog house.”

Business declined during the 1930’s Great Depression and the Hotel Medford never regained its former glory. In 1988, it burned to the ground. A replica was built, the New Medford Apartments, and the rooms are now rented out as apartments.

Although Buster Brown didn’t live to see it, pets are now allowed.

Sources: Mail Tribune, 24 Aug. 1918 [Medford, Ore.], p. 4; Oliver, Michael E. "Hotel Medford Echoes of Grandeur." Table Rock Sentinel, Sept./Oct. 1988; "Since You Asked: Original Medford Hotel burned to ground in 1988." Mail Tribune, 30 Sept. 2015 [Medford, Ore.]; "Since You Asked: Original Medford Hotel burned to ground in 1988." Mail Tribune, 30 Sept. 2015 [Medford, Ore.] , www.mailtribune.com/article/20150930/NEWS/150939995. Accessed 26 Feb. 2017.

Sharon Bywater of Ashland, Oregon grew up in Southern California. She taught English literature and writing at Syracuse University in New York, where she also wrote and edited adult literacy books and published freelance articles in local media. Later, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked as an international telecommunications policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She has Master’s degrees in English and Communications Management.