Listen, and you can almost hear the jazz music and smell the roasting duck.
Edward F. Piersol conceived the idea for the Bayou Hotel and was the first owner. The hotel, considered lavish for a small town was built with field stone from Harford County and completed in 1921. Each of the sixty rooms had a private bath, (a luxury for that time) and most rooms had a view of the water. Other extravagances included a parking garage and the indoor pool that is now part of the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum.
Join us for an evening at the Bayou Hotel in 1926
Mingle with famous clients who have come from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City to hunt canvasback ducks on the flats, fish, and attend the local horse races. Feast on fresh roasted duck in the large dining room with a view of the bay and then stroll through the formal gardens to the indoor heated pool for a dip. Finally, head back to the hotel bar for a nightcap and retire to your waterfront room.
The hotel did well during the 1920s but by the early 1930s things began to look grim. A large fire in 1932 caused the Bayou to close for renovations. Sinkboxing, the favored form of duck hunting in the area was outlawed. The Depression and Prohibition hurt business. In 1934, the Bayou Hotel shut its doors and went out of business.
Later the Hotel served as a retirement home for the Franciscan Sisters. A two-story tower was added in 1953. Shortly after this, the hotel became the Bayou Villa Apartments. The building fell into disrepair and stood empty. The city assumed ownership in 1976. The Bayou is now a privately owned condominium association.