Douglas Hotel

by Jamie Cassell Mast


My father was resident manager of the Douglas Hotel from 1949 ( then it was the Sheraton).  About 1950 the hotel was bought by a partnership, and it was renamed the Douglas. My father Jim Cassell was a bachelor father raising two young daughters. The three of us lived at the Douglas, on the 15th floor. There always seemed to be a fire somewhere in the city, if we heard a siren, my sister and I would raise a window and sit on the sill, with our legs hanging out the window of the 15th floor, that is until someone passing by on Hill St. alerted the hotel and my father! I remember inviting friends to come to the hotel, and we would be allowed to use an unrented ballroom to roller skate, providing music from an old 45 record player. The bank of elevators consisted of two, side by side and many a day if both elevators were on the ground floor, my sister and I would each commandeer one and race to the top floor and back down, much to the operators chagrin.

I could go on and on, but Newark is high on my list of very happy memories, I happened to go back to visit the Douglas in 1987, only to find it is now a high rise. However the guard was very kind and permitted me to survey the old lobby and along the back wall is a tile fountain, unused now, but in the 50's we turned two fan-tail goldfish loose in it, much to the delight of the hotel residents.

We left New Jersey in 1954, other than a few visits, our lives took us all to other states. But I often think of the Newark Star Ledger, Peshine Ave. grammar school, Arts High School, Minsky's on Branford Place, many of the entertainers were guests at the Douglas. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reminisce.


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: