The Fried Chicken War
One summer day in 1880, a prominent Philadelphia businessman and longtime Mountain House guest named George Harding asked a waiter to bring some fried chicken to his daughter Emily instead of the hotel's usual dinner fare of roast beef, as she had been prescribed a diet which excluded red meat. The ensuing argument went all the way to Beach, who refused to budge despite Harding's history with the hotel.
In exasperation, Beach suggested that Harding should perhaps build his own hotel. Harding called the bluff, checking his family out that very day and beginning plans for his own hotel, to be located atop neighboring South Mountain and utterly dwarf Beach's. He kept his word, opening the Kaaterskill Hotel next year and offering the Mountain House its first real competition.
The rivalry between the two hotels and their proprietors came to be known in the region as the "Fried Chicken War." It actually benefited both, since guests at one would often stroll to the other for lunch.
The view that made the Mountain House famous came at a cost— getting up the 1,600-foot (487.6 m) climb from the valley required a five-hour stagecoach ride. As more competing hotels that were easier to reach began to be developed, the Mountain House built the cable-operated Otis Elevating Railway to bring its guests directly from the Hudson to the hotel. But the railway proved to be expensive to operate, and was finally sold for scrap in 1918 during World War I.
Famous quotes containing the words war, fried and/or chicken:
“It is the women of Europe who pay the price while war rages, and it will be the women who will pay again when war has run its bloody course and Europe sinks down into the slough of poverty like a harried beast too spent to wage the fight. It will be the sonless mothers who will bend their shoulders to the plough and wield in age-palsied hands the reaphook.”
—Kate Richards OHare (18771948)
“I did toy with the idea of doing a cook-book.... The recipes were to be the routine ones: how to make dry toast, instant coffee, hearts of lettuce and brownies. But as an added attraction, at no extra charge, my idea was to put a fried egg on the cover. I think a lot of people who hate literature but love fried eggs would buy it if the price was right.”
—Groucho Marx (18951977)
“The average parent may, for example, plant an artist or fertilize a ballet dancer and end up with a certified public accountant. We cannot train children along chicken wire to make them grow in the right direction. Tying them to stakes is frowned upon, even in Massachusetts.”
—Ellen Goodman (b. 1941)