Lynne Castle Hotel
The Lynne Castle was the former Rev. Dr. Savage's old Episcopal School located at West Beach Road. Upon its closing, it was purchased and renovated by Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Lynne B. Watkins, who elegantly furnished it as his private home.
However, finding it too large, he converted the estate into 23 guest-chambers in 1892, and placed it under professional management while continuing to call it the Lynne Castle. The large guest chambers accommodated mostly weekly or seasonal guests, and did not cater to transient trade. It occupied the square from U.S. 90 to St. Louis, and from Clarence Avenue to Henderson Avenue where the former 3-story Richelieu Apartment building was situated,
now, a shopping complex.
In Charles Dyer’s Along the Gulf, in 1895, he stated, “in arriving at Lynne Castle and being particularly impressed by the beauty of the building and its location, we alighted and passed through the gate, sauntered leisurely up the long walk to the house, where we were hospitably received and were shown over the place. Lynne Castle is something of a family resort, being a house of twenty-three large guest chambers capable of accommodating about sixty people. From the genial proprietor we learned that the house was started in 1892, since which time it has had a phenomenally successful run of patronage, both during the summer and winter, for Lynne Castle like several other of the hotels at the Pass remains open all the year round.
“The house is situated in the center of spacious well-shaded grounds, and from the front, a beautiful lawn stretches down for fully one hundred yards to the front street. It makes a beautiful play ground for the children and is especially adapted for croquet, lawn tennis and other out-door games, while at the side under the shade of stately trees, hammocks and swings may be put up for the guests. In front of the grounds a long wharf extends out into the Gulf with a large bathing pavilion at is end in which will be found all the usual conveniences. For those however, who are not in very good health are do not care to stand the cold plunge in the waters of the Gulf, there are hot and cold water bath rooms specially constructed in the house, which, by the way is supplied with artesian water, which from its analysis, is known to be of great medical value.”
“As for the table, it is unsurpassed, it being supplied direct from the city markets, while unlimited supplies of fish, crabs, and oysters can be drawn from the Gulf. From the wide verandas of the house a beautiful view of the Gulf may be seen dotted here and there with the white sails of pleasure crafts, and those whose taste incline towards sailing, sea bathing or fishing, they have an excellent opportunity to indulge in these pleasures. Lynne Castle is the summer home and the property of Hon. Lynne B. Watkins one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Louisiana who finding too large for his family leased to the present management. Judge Watkins nevertheless spends his vacations at this beautiful resort. Lynne Castle is beyond a doubt the most exclusive hotel on the entire coast. Taken altogether this house is an ideal family resort, both in the winter and in summer, and those who can secure accommodations there consider themselves quite lucky.”
Soon after the Judge’s death, Mrs Watkins sold the property to I.T. Rhea, who continued to operate the hotel as the Lynne Castle
The building was lost to fire in 1915. Two weeks later, the Magnolia Hotel also took flame.