John Kessler, Woodmere, Long Island


Census records reveal that John Kessler immigrated to the United States from Germany in the early 1880’s and in 1900 listed his occupation as a salesman.

According to a notice published in the April 20, 1904 edition of the Brooklyn Times Union, at that time the Hempstead Town Board leased Kessler one acre of marshland in Woodmere. Shortly afterwards he apparently constructed, and began operating a hotel on the marsh. Census records listed him as the owner of a hotel located “out in Woodmere Bay,” and as late as September 30, 1912 he was a liquor tax certificate holder: “Hotel, Woodmere Bay, south of Woodmere Dock.” I’ve found that many local hotel owners in this era were liquor tax certificate holders and bottled their own beverages.

Kessler passed away sometime around 1914 and apparently his wife Margaret continued to run the business. In the years ending September 30, 1914 and 1915, Margaret Kessler, not John, was listed as the liquor tax certificate holder.

In the 1920 census Margaret was listed as a widow living with her daughter on West Broadway in Hewlett and apparently no longer involved in the business

I found two champagne style beer bottles with tooled blob finishes. Both fit the early years of the business, say 1904 to roughly 1910, after which I would have expected a crown finish.

I haven’t seen an example of this one on the Internet adding to the evidence that this was a small local business.