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The Arlington Hotel stood on the northwest corner of West University Avenue & Main Street at a time when Gainesville was viewed somewhat as a resort and social center, a place to visit. Gainesville was the southernmost Florida city that the traveler could reach by train, and further travel south was a bit less comfortable in a buggy, wagon, stage coach, or by foot. Therefore, a high-class hotel was required, and Gainesville had one in the Arlington. Jess Davis describes the Arlington in his book, "History of Gainesville Florida", as "…the largest [of Gainesville's several hotels] and…a fine and well-kept house, with pleasant rooms and a table supplied with the best that the Northern and Southern markets afford. It is one of the best hotels in the state, where polite attention is the rule, not the exception, and with capacity for about 200 guests. Many of the rooms open directly out on the broad piazzas overlooking the public square. Here enjoyable hours may be spent; or if too cool in the winter season, the large well-warmed parlors, billiard-halls, or reading rooms offer attractions among refined and agreeable company." The Arlington Hotel burned in 1884 or 1886—historians are not sure.(click image to view larger size)
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