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Wolcott Museum

Famous Guests of The Wolcott Hotel

Since opening its doors in 1904, The Wolcott Hotel has been host to many famous guests, drawn to it because of its timeless elegance, sophistication, and ambiance.

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Stay in the Same NY Hotel as Mark Twain & Buddy Holly

Want to know what it would be like to sleep in the same rooms as your favorite author or musician? Reserve a room at The Wolcott Hotel to find out! We offer affordable accommodations in the heart of New York City where famous guests spent many nights, including author Mark Twain, singer-songwriter Buddy Holly, writer Edith Warton, and Dr. Washington Dodge, one of the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic. Dr. Dodge found respite at the Wolcott after the tragedy and wrote an account of his experiences on the boat and during the rescue. Learn more about their time with us below.

Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly stayed at The Wolcott Hotel during the fall of 1958. He was visiting New York for a recording session with Lou Giordano, which took place at Beltone Studios. Buddy Holly and Phil Everly co-produced the session. The two songs recorded during this time were “Stay Close To Me” and “Don't Cha Know.” Buddy played guitar on both songs.

Mark Twain

Only six months after the Wolcott opened its doors in 1904, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name “Mark Twain,” stayed here. Mr. Clemens was an American author and humorist that wrote The Adventure of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventure of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Below are some letters Mr. Clemens wrote from the hotel on September 9, 1904. The letters below are to Frank Seaman, an advertising agent whose office was on 34th Street, and to Susan L. Crane.

Enlarged image of the Wolcott's eagle and address from Mr. Twain's letter below. 

"Dear Frank,

As I understand it, my second & final $12,500 indebtedness will begin to move in your direction November first on the installment plan.Can you make it profitable to me to anticipate? What reductions will you make on that $12,500 – lump – cash, payable Sept. 15 or Sept. 30, 13 or 13 ½ months before the final installment of it would fall due?

Truly Yours,
SL. Clemens

Wolcott Hotel



The Wolcott

Sept 9/04

Susy dear, the first time I heard ‘In the Sweet By and Bye’, a street - organ played it near the St. Nicholas in December 1867; & that was the first time I ever saw Livy Langdon, a sweet young slender girl & beautiful. In our engagement – year some of us often sang it evening, along with other songs. Present:

Father, † (John Marshall Clemens)
Mother, † (Jane Lampton Clemens)
Theodore, † (Theodore Crane)
Mr. Slee, † (John D. F. Slee)
Hattie Lewis, (Harriet Lewis)
Livy Langdon † (Olivia Langdon Clemens)

How many are gone! An organ is playing The Sweet Bye & Bye in the Street now & breaking my heart. I saw Clara off, day before yesterday, to a rest – cure in Connecticut. She is to be shut up 4 or 5 weeks, in bed, without books, without companionship, writing no letters, reading no letters, seeing no one but physician & nurse – a horrid solitude, with grief and memory for company. What an unforgivable crime the creation of the human race was! That inscription for the Gravestone is in Lee. I will send it by & by when I can. I do not remember the wording.


Envelope to Clifford V. Kendall UK 1947

Kendall Envelope

Learn More

Want to know more about our famous guests? Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our rich history.