Hiram J. Rockwell, who died in 1906, was once proprietor of the Fort William Henry hotel and W.W. Brown was in charge in 1903. When the hotel burned in 1909, J.F. Wilson was manager.
On June 23, 1909 the hotel was not open for business but nearly 150 employees had been working diligently getting the hotel ready to open for the season the next day. At 3 a.m. the next morning a fire started near the servant's quarters in the basement and Mr. Wilson sounded the alarm. The fire spread so quickly that the servants barely had time to grab some clothing in order to escape the advancing flames.
Fumes and belches of black smoke forced people out of the building. The Caldwell fire department responded but could do nothing but stand by helplessly as fire tore through the building, but they did keep a stream of water playing on the cottages and the power house.
The day after the fire, townspeople and tourists stood silently by and gazed at the blackened landscape and all that was left of the fabulous hotel. It was the end of an era, a golden time that was never to come again. The old Fort William Henry Hotel had passed on into the annals of history.